Orthodontic Problems. In addition to these general guidelines, there are some specific recommendations for children. The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child have an orthodontic examination by age 7 — for two very good reasons. One stems from the fact that there’s a wide disparity in tooth development at that age — so it takes an expert to tell if a child may actually have an orthodontic problem, or if it’s just a normal developmental variation. By that time, an orthodontist can usually determine whether or not there will be adequate room in the mouth to accommodate the permanent teeth. The second reason for an early exam is that many conditions are far easier to treat if they’re caught at an early stage, when children’s natural growth processes are in full swing. For example, a palatal expander appliance can effectively treat a child’s crossbite (a condition where the upper teeth close inside the lower ones) because a youngster’s jaw is still growing rapidly. However, if left untreated, oral surgery could later be required to correct this serious condition. There are other problems commonly seen in childhood that may also benefit from orthodontic treatment. These include the early or late loss of baby teeth, persistent thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and mouth breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be time to visit our office. But keep in mind that early screening doesn’t mean treatment has to start right away — In fact, most kids don’t begin active orthodontic treatment until they’re 9-14 years old.
Orthodontic Appliance Options.
You know when your child should come in for an orthodontic exam. Now, how about you? Do you cover your mouth with your hand when you smile? Are you self-conscious around strangers because your smile isn’t as perfect as you want it to be? If so then the best time to see an orthodontist might be — right now!
Maybe you think orthodontics is just for kids. If so, then it’s time to think again! In fact, according to the AAO, around one in five orthodontic patients today are adults. Why are more adults getting orthodontic treatment? There are plenty of reasons.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age — and in older patients, compliance isn’t usually an issue. Plus, with the growing availability of clear aligners, translucent ceramic brackets, and lingual braces, it’s getting harder to tell whether or not you’re wearing orthodontic appliances. So if you worry that metal braces might clash with your professional image, be sure to ask about less-visible alternatives.
Of course, it isn’t just about looks. Well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and maintain, and less subject to abnormal wear. A better bite keeps you from having trouble eating and speaking, and helps your teeth stay healthy — and healthy teeth can last a lifetime. So why delay getting orthodontic treatment?
We are always excited about meeting new patients during their first visit to our office. Your initial appointment will consist of a thorough examination and a discussion of potential treatment options. This important 30-minute visit will give us insight into your orthodontic needs. We know your time is valuable, so to expedite treatment, we may also reserve time following the exam for diagnostic records. The records include X-rays, photos and impressions for study models and are necessary for developing the appropriate treatment plan. This additional appointment will last approximately one hour.
During the initial examination for each patient, we will address the following questions that cover the basics of orthodontic treatment. We encourage you to ask questions as well.
We will then schedule a consultation visit to discuss treatment options, time frames, and financial arrangements. We insist that our patients leave the office with a clear understanding of their specific needs, what the treatment will consist of and how long it will take. Also, we will answer any additional questions.
Any panoramic X-ray taken within the past six months.
If you have orthodontic insurance, bring your insurance card. By providing this information at the first visit, we will be able to give you an estimate of your costs.
Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Openbite may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting.
This type of problem is caused when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately, which may negatively impact jaw and proper dental function.
The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite. It is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward.
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times, tooth removal can be avoided.
The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.
The upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.
An underbite is characterized by the lower jaw extending out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.
Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue.