Orthodontics for Children
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven.
By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it possible for the orthodontist to assess tooth and jaw problems and assess developing problems.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
An early visit to the orthodontist can ease a parent’s mind. Our recommendation may simply be ‘let's wait and see’ while the face and jaws continue to grow. Seeing patients early allows us to monitor over time whether the condition is improving, staying the same or worsening. Intervention may sometimes be indicated to correct the problem or lessen its severity. Regardless of the problem, we are generally able to provide the parents a road map of what to expect – even if it’s many years down the road.
Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.
Orthodontics for Teens
These teenagers have many choices for fixing their smiles. In the past, metal braces were the only option. Today teens (and adults) can chose from metal braces with colors, clear braces and even Invisalign Teen. So depending on you orthodontic needs, our orthodontists can offer you lots of options so you can chose the treatment that fits your lifestyle and will give you the best result.
Our practice offers a variety of braces, types and styles, to choose from. Some common options include:
- Clear ceramic braces
- Invisalign Teen
- Self-ligating metal braces
Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people your age. Today's braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule your orthodontic checkup so you can get started on your new smile.
How long will I have to wear braces?
The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on two key factors:
- What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently. While it may take one patient only 12 months to complete treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.
- YOU! — Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Wearing your elastics will help you get finished faster. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!
Orthodontics for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.
Common reasons why adults consider orthodontic treatment:
- A more confident smile
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly causing tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal jaw pain or pressure aggravated by crooked teeth or a bad bite
- Worn and broken teeth that need to be repositioned for dental work
Treatment options for adults
For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Types of braces include:
- Clear, ceramic braces
- Self-ligating metal braces
Invisalign has opened the possibility of orthodontics for many adults. At Morejón + Andrews Orthodontics we understand that braces don't fit everyone's lifestyle. Invisalign allows us to transform many smiles almost undetectably so we have invested in the education and technology to become a leading provider of Invisalign.
The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens:
The main difference to remember when treating adults or children and teens is that in younger patients the jawbones are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may mean the possibility of orthognathic surgery to align the jawbones. Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth can clean their teeth more easily which can help lessen the likelihood of gum disease..
- Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.
Our practice also recognizes that adults and children have different needs and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatments and that we meet you needs with understanding and respect.
Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.
- A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it's needed can create long-term health issues costing you more in the end.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We understand that you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.