The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should have their first orthodontic checkup no later than age seven. A dentist might recommend visiting a specialist sooner, however, if abnormalities or concerns are revealed during routine checkups and cleanings.
While it is common for children to wear braces, orthodontics helps people from all age groups, including adults. Determining when to receive braces varies from person to person because everyone’s oral anatomy and developmental progress is unique. A consultation with an orthodontist will help determine the best course of action.
Early Interceptive Orthodontic Care
Early interceptive orthodontics is a treatment method that breaks up treatment into two phases, with the first phase occurring during childhood. This first phase takes advantage of the bones and palate continuing to develop. Since bone growth still occurs, orthodontic appliances like palate expanders can be used to widen the jaw and create room for the emergence of adult teeth.
By creating room and correcting occlusal issues that might arise, some patients can enjoy significantly shorter treatment periods. Many children do not have to wear braces as long with early intervention. Moreover, interceptive care can eliminate the need for external headgear.
Braces for Teens
Teenagers might need braces even if they do not require interceptive care in childhood. Fortunately, today’s braces have unique design elements to increase comfort and streamline the movement of teeth. There are also multiple options for maintaining a natural looking aesthetic, if desired.
For instance, ceramic braces have tooth-colored brackets and clear wires, which look incredibly natural when compared to braces made from metal archwires and brackets.
Orthodontic Intervention in Adulthood
Sometimes people need braces during their adult years. This is common when people never had access to orthodontic care, their wisdom teeth emerged and forced teeth out of position, or when patients do not wear their retainers as directed after braces.
There are a number of solutions for adults in need of braces that are more comfortable and aesthetically appealing than conventional orthodontia. For example, there are self-ligating braces that speed up treatment times and clear alternatives to braces made from plastic.
If you have questions about your treatment options, call Fleming Orthodontics today to reserve a consultation with our orthodontist.