When is the best time to begin orthodontics?
Although our doctors can enhance your smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment for you. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment. We know every child is different, so we take the time to establish what’s best for each patient.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. If we determine orthodontic intervention is not necessary, Dr. Albert and Dr. Thomas can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, we can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.
What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
- 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 unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
Why should malocclusions be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:
- Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
- Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
- Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
- Open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.
Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile –
it creates a healthier you.
Phase II and Adolescent Treatment
Between the ages of 11 and 15 is the most common time for orthodontic treatment, and for good reasons. By 12, most if not all of the permanent teeth have erupted and are in place, and crooked teeth, gaps, and bad bites can easily be detected. These problems will hardly ever correct themselves, so this is when most parents decide to seek orthodontic treatment.
This is also a good time for orthodontic treatment because many negative associations of braces are not present. Many children in this age range undergo orthodontic treatment, and children are very often able to be convinced to wear braces because they see their friends wearing them too, and want to fit in.
Besides the benefits of fitting in with their friends, children at this age are growing rapidly, and our orthodontists can usually take advantage of these growth spurts to help shape the bite and teeth correctly. And children at this age have high metabolisms, which can help shorten overall treatment time and reduce the discomfort of orthodontic treatment.
5641 Naples Blvd.
Naples, FL 34109
Monday – Wednesday:
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
We are always available to talk with you and address your concerns.