Orthodontic Treatment/Braces

Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome, neck, shoulder, and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one’s appearance. Orthodontic treatment is a way of moving teeth to improve their appearance and how they work. It can also help you to bite more evenly and reduce the strain.

The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child have an orthodontic examination by age 7. This enables us to tell if your child may actually have an orthodontic problem or if it’s just a normal developmental variation. Also, 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.

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. This should not make you think that orthodontics is just for kids. In fact, around one in five orthodontic patients today is an adult. 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.