Many of our patients are surprised to learn that orthodontics isn’t just about making cosmetic changes. Imperfect teeth can affect the way we smile, chew, clean our teeth, or feel about ourselves, so it’s important to get regular check ups and visit the orthodontist at the appropriate age, when the teeth are still growing so we can optimize treatment.
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, beginning the treatment early can ensure the greatest result with the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial evaluation should occur at the first sign of problems or no later than age 7. At this age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but a careful examination can help us determine the most advantageous time to begin treatment if it is necessary.
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment, avoiding the need for more costly fixes and serious problems later in life. If, however, treatment isn’t necessary, a quick check up will allow us to carefully monitor growth and development so we can begin treatment when it’s ideal.
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, we can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. If we catch these problems early, when can easily create the foundation for a perfect smile.
Interceptive treatment is orthodontic therapy performed on children who have a mixture of adult and baby teeth. Some of the most direct results of this type of treatment are:
Anyone can be a candidate for orthodontic treatment, and while it is best to have teeth treated at an early age, you can meet with our staff at any time to begin planning your perfect smile. For more information, check out our Adult Treatment page.
While it’s nice to have the perfect smile, one that will give you more confidence and allow you to look your best, untreated teeth can cause problems beyond physical appearance. Some of these include:
For more information visit our Common Orthodontic Problems page.
Ultimately, orthodontics do more than make a pretty smile — they create a healthier you!