Basic Information about Orthodontics

About Orthodontics

Your dentist may have discussed with you the benefits of having healthy teeth and proper jaw alignment. Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This can result in tooth decay, worsen gum disease and lead to tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints. These can lead to chronic headaches and face or neck pain. Treatment by an orthodontist can be less costly than the additional care required to treat dental problems arising as a result of orthodontic problems. For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. After your braces come off, you'll feel more self-confident.

A Beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics
Early treatment can simplify later treatment

Orthodontics for Children

It's best for the orthodontist to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required and the best time for that patient to be treated. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment.

Orthodontics for Adults

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. One out of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over 21. In fact our oldest adult patient was 78 years young. Orthodontics can reshape the dental arches and bring the teeth in better position to support the lips and cheeks. Because it can help to restore lip fullness, adult orthodontic treatment has been referred to as a “Brace Lift”. Many adults undergo orthodontics for reasons other than cosmetic. Many years of poor tooth alignment can result in significant damage to the teeth, gums and even jaw joints. Orthodontics can assist in reducing or even stopping those types of damage and at the same time, provide for a better self image. Many people are surprised to find that adult teeth move just as easily as children’s teeth. The one limitation is that the jaws are no longer growing. If they are significantly out of alignment, surgery may be needed to get a complete correction. We will work closely with your family dentist and other dental specialists as needed to provide you with the healthiest and most attractive orthodontic result possible.

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age