When a child’s adult teeth start growing in, they can sometimes cause complications or irregularities in the child’s mouth. Parents should take their child to see an orthodontist at least once to ensure the new teeth are growing normally. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in straightening and aligning teeth.
Ideally, parents should take their child to visit the orthodontist by age 7 to get professional advice if and when the child will need orthodontic treatment.
- The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by age 7 and crossbites, crowding, thumb and finger sucking, and other problems can be evaluated.
- Early treatments helps your orthodontist guide the growth of the jaw and incoming permanent teeth.
- Early treatment can also help your orthodontist regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, make sure there’s enough space for permanent teeth, prevent the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems.
Even if the child’s teeth appear to be problem-free, an orthodontist is trained to detect problems that could lead to expensive repairs if not addressed promptly. If your child is experiencing delayed or premature loss of baby teeth, has unusual chewing habits, shows signs of having an underbite or overbite, you should visit an orthodontist as soon as possible.
Orthodontia isn’t for kids only; many adults seek an orthodontic appointment to improve their oral health, correct their smile or bite, and increase their self-esteem. Your smile is important and orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age! 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, or after orthodontic treatment.
- Bone loss can also limit the amount and direction of tooth movement.
- Teeth can move as adults age and may need to be tightened to improve symmetry and uniformity.
- Adults seeking dental implants may need help straightening their teeth first.
- Without orthodontia, adult patients may be left with crossbite and misaligned teeth, which are harder to clean and remove all plaque; plaque buildup can lead to more serious dental conditions, such as periodontal disease (gum disease).
Fortunately, adults have the option of less noticeable, clear braces that don’t affect their visual appearance. Invisalign is worn over the teeth as a transparent plastic aligner, with no metal or wires. Adult orthodontic patients are very happy with the lighter, more comfortable, cheaper options of the day.