Orthodontic treatment is suitable for all ages. It doesn’t matter if you’re a child, teen, or adult, it’s never too late to correct orthodontic issues such as crooked or crowded teeth. You deserve to have a beautiful smile no matter your age.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that involves the diagnosis, interception, prevention, and treatment of jaw or teeth irregularities. You might be a good candidate for orthodontic treatment if you have any of the following conditions:
- Spaces or gaps between your teeth
- Abnormal pressure and pain in your jaw
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Bite problems, such as underbite or overbite
Orthodontic care does more than improve your smile and build confidence. Orthodontic conditions can lead to problems such as difficulty chewing food, airway and breathing problems, tooth damage, speech difficulty, jaw injury, and difficulty cleaning the teeth properly. Correcting orthodontic issues can therefore help improve your overall oral health and help you keep your teeth longer.
In the past, orthodontic care was primarily associated with children. Currently, however, options for orthodontic treatment have expanded to address orthodontic issues at all ages.
Orthodontics for children
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, a child can visit an orthodontist as early as the age of seven. Most children have both adult teeth and baby teeth at this age, which makes it easy to diagnose and treat jaw and tooth problems without using invasive treatment methods.
It isn’t easy to know when your child needs orthodontics care. You should therefore take your child to visit their pedodontist regularly. An experienced pediatric dentist can notice the warning signs of orthodontic issues at an early stage and recommend treatment when necessary. If you notice any of the following signs as a parent, be sure to tell your child’s dentist:
- Grinding teeth
- Difficulty chewing
- Finger sucking
- Too much snoring
- Losing several teeth at once in an abnormal manner
- Early loss of baby teeth
- Biting cheeks
Orthodontic treatment can improve your child’s oral health and reduce major dental issues later on in life.
Orthodontics for teens
By the time your child is becoming a teenager, their permanent teeth have already developed. At this age, it is easy for them to wear and properly care for braces, which is why you’re more likely to see teenagers wearing braces.
As much as teens are perfect for orthodontic care, they often feel that wearing braces is not ideal. Wearing braces can increase their social anxiety and reduce their confidence. However, there are now many treatment options for orthodontic care that are more comfortable and subtler in appearance than traditional wire braces. Options such as clear aligners or Invisalign are practically invisible, which means your teen can wear them comfortably without feeling self conscious.
Orthodontics for adults
By adulthood, issues such as crooked or crowded teeth may be more severe, but treatment is still available. Ask your dentist about discreet options such as Invisalign.
Orthodontic treatment for all ages is effective, and advances in dental care mean the treatment process is no longer as long or invasive. If you or your child have problems with teeth or jaw alignment, consider visiting an orthodontist to begin treatment.