Orthodontic treatment is a process, and is different for each individual. But the right orthodontic treatment can yield positive results that last a lifetime.
Beautifully straight pearly whites are the most obvious sign that someone has undergone orthodontic treatment, but that isn’t the only benefit patients enjoy. Orthodontic treatment makes smiles healthier and ensures they function properly, as well. Straighter smiles are easier to keep clean, allowing you to better fend off decay and gum disease, and a properly aligned bite makes it easier to chew and speak.
Orthodontic treatment is a process and is different for each individual. But the right orthodontic treatment can yield positive results that last a lifetime. From being able to speak and chew better to increasing your self-esteem with a smile you can’t wait to show off, orthodontic treatment is life-changing.
An initial consultation with an orthodontist will include X-rays, images, and models of your teeth to create a clear picture of any issues you may be facing. Your orthodontist will then work to create a treatment plan personalized just for you. No two issues are exactly the same, so no two treatment plans are, either.
Your child may need orthodontic treatment, some signs to look for include:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Extending thumbsucking or pacifier use
- Problems with speech
- Crooked or crowded teeth
- Teeth that bite into the roof of the mouth or the cheeks
- Inability to comfortably close lips
- Protruding teeth
Am I Too Old for Orthodontic Treatment?
Age doesn’t matter when it comes to orthodontic treatment because whether you are an adolescent or adult, it’s the same process at play to move the teeth through bone. However, getting orthodontic treatment as an adult may be slightly more involved than it is for a younger patient.
There are several things that can come into play during an adult’s orthodontic treatment. First, adults jaws have stopped growing, so we don’t have the benefit of being able to guide its growth to ensure ideal alignment. Additionally, adults are more likely to face issues such as gum disease, missing teeth, decay or have restorative work. The good news is, none of these issues rule you out for orthodontic treatment – they just mean your treatment may be more involved. But a straighter, properly functioning smile is never out of reach.
You shouldn’t have to spend your lifetime hiding your smile. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to orthodontic treatment – you can have your dream smile whether you are 12 or 62!
Why is treatment so important?
Orthodontic treatment doesn’t just make a smile look prettier – it creates a bite that functions better. Both of these are important to your overall oral health.
Crooked and crowded teeth are harder to keep clean, placing you at a higher risk for gum disease and tooth decay. Bad bites can lead to uneven pressure when biting down, causing your teeth to wear down, chip, crack or break. Your bite also contributes to how you speak and chew, and a bad bite can wreak havoc on these everyday tasks. Without orthodontic treatment, your issues will worsen over time.
Orthodontic treatment is a team effort between you and our orthodontic staff. While we do the work of creating your custom treatment plan and ensuring your braces or aligners stay on course, you have to follow all of the instructions provided, keep your appointments, and take good care of your oral hygiene.
Is There a Benefit to Early Treatment?
Some patients may benefit from early interventive treatment, which is why it is important for children to visit an orthodontist for the first time around the age of seven. For children with severe malocclusions, two-phase treatment may provide the best and most lasting result.
How long does treatment take?
Every patient is different, and therefore treatment times may vary. The average length of treatment time is 24 months, however, treatment can vary between one and three years. Once your time in braces is over, however, you must wear a retainer to ensure your smile stays in place.
Maintaining dental health
Orthodontic treatment is a positive step in caring for your oral health. Skipping orthodontic treatment because you aren’t concerned with a perfectly straight smile may only be harming your smile. Misaligned teeth can lead to abnormal wear of tooth enamel, decay, and gum disease, among other issues. Straighter teeth that are properly aligned are easier to take care of and have less of a chance of chipping, cracking, or breaking. Include an orthodontist in your overall oral health, along with a general dentist, periodontist, and other specialists, to ensure your smile stays healthy for life.
Will orthodontic treatment fit my lifestyle?
There are a host of orthodontic treatment options today, guaranteed to fit into everyone’s lifestyles – no matter your age or stage of life. You can sing, play sports or an instrument, conduct a board meeting, and smile broadly in photos, all while in orthodontic treatment. We have options that can comfortably fit into your lifestyle, no matter your age.
A consultation will determine if orthodontic treatment is right for you, and which treatment options may be ideal. It’s never too late to get the smile of your dreams, so schedule your consultation today.