In the past, orthodontics was routinely an early teen event that began once all of the baby teeth were gone and permanent teeth were in. Recent advances in the understanding of a child development as well as modern materials have re-evaluated the time for orthodontic treatment to an earlier age. It is now recommended by the American Association of Orthodontiststhat every child should receive an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. But Why?
Common Orthodontic Problems Found At Age 7
1. Buck Teeth. Do the upper front teeth stick way out of line?
2. Deep Bite. Do the upper teeth cover the lower teeth?
3. Underbite. Do the upper teeth fit inside the arch of the lower teeth?
4. Open Bite. Do only the back teeth touch when biting down?
5. Crowded or overlapped teeth. Do the teeth have too much or too little space in certain areas?
6. Misaligned front teeth. Do the spaces between the upper two front teeth and lower two front teeth not line up?
7. Crossbite. Do the lower teeth fit properly inside the upper teeth?
8 .Missing teeth. If there are baby teeth that never developed, there will not be a permanent tooth to follow. Jaw x-rays may also find that certain permanent teeth are not presently formed or are unable to come down on their own.
9. Extra teeth. When there are double teeth, extra teeth or malformed teeth.
Generally, orthodontic treatment does not begin at age 7 but it is good to get a head start to avoid any complications down the road. However, early orthodontic treatment may be necessary before age 7 if the following appear:
-Proper Chewing Is Difficult
-Abnormal bite development
-Clicking or popping in the jaw
-Permanent teeth that are erutping into the mouth crowded or overlapped
-A thumb sucking problem
-A teeth grinding problem
-Issues biting cheeks or biting into the roof of the mouth
Benefits Of Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic evaluation provides both timely diagnosis of problems and increased opportunity for more effective treatment. Early intervention gives the ability to guide growth and development, preventing more serious issues later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Early orthodontic treatment is also referred to as interceptive treatment or Phase I treatment. Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment include the following:
-Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
-Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
-Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
-Preserving space for teeth that are coming in
-Reducing the need for tooth removal
-Reducing Phase II treatment time with braces
Phase II orthodontic treatment begins when all of the permanent teeth erupt and usually involves a full set of braces and not just a localized treatment plan.
While not every child will need early orthodontic treatment, it is best to know in advance what the options will be going forward. It is important to remember, orthodontics is not strictly a cosmetic endeavor, bite alignment is the ultimate goal. The issues presented above can all be corrected fairly easily if done in a phased approach. However, allowing this early intervention time to pass can complicate treatment requiring more extreme measures (i.e. teeth removal or surgery) to fulfill the same goal.
Reposted From Dentistry IQ
A beautiful smile is important to many. With so many adults in our practices with misaligned teeth, shouldn't cosmetic orthodontics become a bigger part of your treatment planning? In the past, many adults were afraid to wear orthodontic braces because they were either embarrassed to wear brackets or did not want to spend the time and money. Cosmetic orthodontics has addressed these concerns. Below you will see some common questions and fears about cosmetic orthodontics, which can help you help your patients with their concerns.
“I’m just too old for braces. Braces are for kids.”
When your patients make statements like these, they expect you to agree with them. Instead, you should take this opportunity to reassure your patients that it is never too late to have the smile they have always wanted. There is no age limit for adults with a healthy periodontal condition to undergo orthodontic treatment. Cosmetic orthodontics lets you have the perfect smile you have always wanted without putting your life on hold. These new options allow you to look great throughout treatment. FACT: One out of every five orthodontic patients is an adult.
“I’ve already had braces; won’t they just move again?”
Explaining to a patient the importance of retention after movement is key. If they understand why that fixed retainer or clear stent needs to be worn during bone fill after movement and that they need to be continually monitored at each recall appointment, they are more likely to be compliant with their retention. For many, they need to understand retention as a protection of their investment.
“Braces take too long.”
For many adults, cosmetic orthodontics can be completed in as little as six months. Depending upon the appliances used and the amount of movement required, treatment can be quite short in length. When addressed in this manner, a patient should understand that treatment may be completed by the time of the next recall visit.
“Orthodontic treatment is painful.”
There is a huge difference between discomfort and pain. All appliances take some getting used to, but it is only for a matter of months. Most of the discomfort is short-lived, lasting a few days after an adjustment appointment. Some of the discomfort has to do with the metal aspects, which may poke or pinch, but this can be reduced drastically with a quick application of wax. In general, the discomfort does not get past the point where a Tylenol does not bring relief.
“Orthodontic braces make it more difficult to keep your teeth clean. Will this cause cavities?"
Good oral hygiene will take a bit more attention than it did before appliances were in place, but is very manageable with the right tools. Waterpiks, electric toothbrushes, fluoride rinses, and threader floss can make it much easier to keep everything clean and cavity-free.
“Isn’t it expensive?”
Your patients need to understand that cosmetic orthodontics is usually the most conservative way to fix a cosmetic issue. Very often, the need for full bonding or veneers may reduce to just a few teeth or none. It may also be the only way to achieve optimal cosmetic dentistry results. The cost factor can be overcome using payment plans through your dentist or using a third-party provider such as CareCredit.
Cosmetic orthodontics conclusion
Whether you practice limited orthodontic movement in your office or not, cosmetic orthodontics should be offered as a treatment option for patients who would benefit from it. Orthodontic treatment can transform your patients' smiles and attitudes about their dental health. You will be surprised at the positive results and referrals!
Note: this page contains paid content.
Please, subscribe to get an access.