Early Preventative Measures/Phase I
In using orthodontic care to achieve your best smile, simply getting braces once you begin to detect problems is not necessarily the best choice. Preventative measures can make any necessary treatment such as braces less costly and time consuming, by allowing us to guide and monitor the growth and placement of the incoming teeth. By age 7 the first back adult molars begin to appear, and the stage is set for the child’s future jaw alignment and bite. Screening this process early on allows us to create space for the incoming teeth, determine whether bite problems might appear, reduce the possibility of teeth being removed, and decide if and when the most advantageous time is for orthodontic intervention.
Adolescent Treatment/Phase II
Ages 11-15 is the best time to determine whether braces are necessary or not. Permanent teeth are usually fully exposed, and the spacing of the teeth, any gaps or crowding, and problems with jaw alignment are apparent. These problems will rarely correct on their own as the teeth finish moving into place, and therefore braces are used to straighten the teeth in relation to each other, and to align the overall bite and symmetry of the jaw. Depending on how early or thoroughly Phase I treatment was pursued can determine the length or amount of work needed in Phase II. The ultimate goal of both phases is to see your child with a healthy, functional jaw and a beautiful smile that will last them the rest of their life.
It’s never too late to get a better smile! Misalignments in the teeth and jaw can be corrected at any age. Orthodontic treatment can help raise self-esteem and create a better looking you. Even more important, it contributes to healthier teeth and gums, preventing tooth decay, headaches or pain from TMJ and other jaw related problems, and abnormal wear of enamel, allowing your teeth to stay in better condition longer. There are many options as to types of braces, ranging from traditional metal to clear Invisalign retainers. Orthodontic care as an adult does not need to be a hassle or an embarrassment, but can fit easily into your life and give you lasting and beneficial results.