Do you realize orthodontics is just not for teenagers anymore? Children, teens, and adults can benefit from Orthodontics or the new term for braces treatment, orthodontics and Dentofacial orthopedics. The American Association of orthodontics recommends an orthodontic evaluation as early as seven years of age. This evaluation can reveal developing problems such as protruding teeth, crooked teeth, overlapping or crowded teeth, spacing or gaps between the teeth, deep bites, missing or extra teeth, clicking or popping sounds when chewing and chronic headaches, neck or jaw pain. Oral habits such as tongue sucking and thrusting, mouth breathing, and thumb or finger sucking can affect the positions of the teeth and growth of the jaws. Many of these problems if left uncorrected or untreated at an early age can cause unnecessary stress to the teeth, gums and jaws and result in more severe problems and more complex treatment as we age.
Limited treatment does not involve all of the teeth but can focus on individual problems such as crossbites or habits and can be for adults, adolescents and children. An orthodontist would diagnose whether you are a candidate for limited treatment involving your upper or lower teeth. Many times a simple appliance would serve to correct these problems.
Early or phase one interceptive treatment can address problems before they become more difficult and cause irreversible damage to your teeth and jaws and self-esteem. Treatment usually involves appliances as well as braces on the permanent teeth that are present.
Comprehensive orthodontic treatment addresses the needs of individuals whom require treatment related to more difficult or multiple problems and involve both the top and bottom teeth. Today, treatment can involve patients that have periodontal disease and also prepare for replacing missing teeth. Treatment usually lasts over a longer period of time and utilize appliances, braces and additional treatment aids. Some people require jaw surgery in order to properly function such as chewing food, talking, breathing and sleeping correctly.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment or braces today is not just about esthetics although esthetics and how we look and feel play a major role in living a healthy and happy lifestyle whether you are young or not so young. Having great self-esteem at any age can improve overall health and ultimately, your lifestyle. Having confidence about your smile and abilities can help you be all that you can be.