People of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Our Orange City orthodontist can not only improve the appearance of a smile it can help with breathing, teeth grinding, TMJ, and sleep apnea issues.
A common question we’re asked by parents is, “When is the best time to start orthodontic treatment?”
For kids, there’s an optimal window during which we should begin planning orthodontic treatment. Early evaluation at Best Smiles ensures the optimal long-term results. The American Association of Orthodontists suggests scheduling an evaluation as soon as we see any sign of orthodontic problems, but no later than age seven.
When treatment is started before all adult teeth have emerged, it’s known as Phase 1 Treatment. This is the first phase of orthodontic treatment, and usually takes place when a young patient has their first permanent molars and incisors. Sometimes it takes place before there are any adult teeth to get your child’s growth and development on the right track.
Because young children are experiencing rapid growth, Phase 1 orthodontic treatment can be very beneficial. This early treatment can limit or even eliminate the need for future braces. If we wait until all the permanent teeth are in before we begin treatment, it could result in issues too severe to be addressed with braces alone. Early treatment may eliminate the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment plans including the removal of permanent teeth or surgical procedures.
Children often display early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. If Dr. Best recommends Phase 1 Treatment, it’s with good reason. With early evaluation, we can examine and monitor your child’s growth to determine when starting treatment will be most effective. The goal of treatment is to help create the conditions that allow your child’s jaw to develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improve their bite.
Not all patients require Phase 1 Treatment, but in certain cases it can be very beneficial. For instance, we may find that your child has an upper jaw that is too narrow. If your child has this issue, early orthodontic treatment may be recommended.
Some indications your child may be a candidate for early orthodontic treatment include:
The goal of Phase II Treatment is to position all the permanent teeth to maximize their appearance and function. This is best accomplished with full braces, Invisalign, or 3M Clarity Aligners and is usually between 12-18 months long. Due to the improvements made in Phase I Treatment, Phase II Treatment requires less patient participation (no headgear and less rubber bands), often eliminates extraction of permanent teeth and reduces the time spent in full braces. This is especially important for patients as they enter their teenage years!
There are many benefits to straightening your teeth and improving your jaw alignment that extend beyond the renewed self-confidence you’ll have with a beautiful smile.
Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to periodontal problems, tooth decay (cavities), irregular tooth wear, and possibly even TMJ pain. Orthodontic treatment for adults with Invisalign, traditional braces, or 3M Clarity Aligners may improve the health of your teeth, gums and surrounding bone structure. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean and may improve your overall oral health.
Orthodontic treatment can benefit adults who are currently getting implants and other dental treatments. This can help create adequate space and properly align your teeth before restorative and esthetic dental treatment.
Many of Dr. Best’s patients are adults. Dr. Best has addressed a variety of orthodontic issues related to age and has treated patients into their 70s.