Orthodontics for Children

It is best for an orthodontist to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required or whether it may be necessary in the future. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by age 7, and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaws 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 of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over 21.  Adults also may have experienced some breakdown or loss of their teeth and bone that supports the teeth and may require periodontal treatment before, during, and/or after orthodontic treatment. Bone loss can also limit the amount and direction of tooth movement that is advisable.  Orthodontics can be used to actually grow bone around the teeth, thus prolonging their longevity! Orthodontics can benefit adults, not just by improving the alignment of the teeth, but also by providing the proper amount of space for dental restorative work, such as veneers or implants, in order to achieve the best cosmetic results.