Having straight teeth and a correct bite is a worthy goal. For many individuals, that is going to require some kind of intervention with orthodontics. Ideally, all children will be evaluated for the need for braces at around the age of seven. While your dentist may just be making recommendations for the future, some patients may benefit from interceptive orthodontics at this younger age.
The Importance of Interceptive Orthodontics
The need for early treatment may be obvious; teeth may be erupting in an abnormal fashion or there may be obvious bite irregularities. But sometimes there are more subtle issues that may only be identified through this early dental examination.
Often considered as the first phase of treatment, interceptive orthodontics can involve several aspects. The patient is typically seven to eleven years old. The first set of permanent molars have usually erupted; the jaws and gums are much more easily manipulated at this stage allowing for the groundwork to be laid in preparation for upcoming growth.
Young patients may be in this predicament due to thumb sucking, pacifier use, or in some cases, genetics. This is why it is imperative that all children be seen by their dentist starting around the age of twelve months. Over time, with regular dental visits, problems may be identified and preemptive action can be taken.
Orthodontics At Any Age
Wearing braces usually commences in children starting around age ten; the importance of straight teeth and a great smile is paramount for people of all ages. But impressionable teens will be more likely to see their peers in the same situation as they are making orthodontics very commonplace and acceptable.
If interceptive orthodontics is considered phase one, phase two often involves correcting teeth overcrowding and managing a malocclusion. In some cases, one or more teeth may require extraction before braces are applied that will move teeth to their correct placement.
Adults can also benefit from teeth straightening. The reason for straight teeth is more than just a great smile. While aesthetics are important, crooked teeth allow areas for plaque and tartar to build leading to the potential for dental decay and the onset of gum disease.
The final, very important, phase of any orthodontic program involves wearing a retainer allowing teeth and the bones that hold them in place to solidify their new location.
To learn more about your orthodontic treatment options, contact the office of Dr. John Morris today.