Understanding Orthodontics for All Ages

A healthy smile that you are excited to show off is important at any age, whether you’re a middle schooler looking for straighter teeth or an adult who has spent years hiding their smile in photographs. Orthodontic solutions are one way to give you a grin that you love and that will help you maintain your overall health. What are some of the different orthodontic options that you have at different ages, and which one is right for you?

Orthodontic Options for Children

Some adults assume that you need a full mouth of adult teeth before braces are worthwhile, but that is not necessarily the case. In most cases, the average child should have their first orthodontics visit before the age of seven. By the time your child turns seven, there will already be markers present of potential jaw problems or bite issues that can be addressed before extensive work is needed.

Depending on what issues the orthodontist notes, your child might be a candidate for orthodontics now or in the near future. This will allow you to budget for the treatment that you want. One of the biggest benefits of early treatment is avoiding more serious and painful problems down the road. Children are still growing, which means that early intervention can get things on the right track.

What Are Some of the Signs Your Child Might Need Orthodontic Care?

Because children don’t have a full mouth of adult teeth yet, it can be challenging to tell whether your child might benefit from braces or other types of orthodontic care. Some of the indicators that we look for include:

  • Thumb sucking, particularly at an older age
  • Premature loss of baby teeth
  • Late loss of baby teeth
  • Mouth breathing
  • Crowded teeth
  • Trouble biting or chewing
  • Teeth that do not meet
  • A jaw that sits too far forward or too far back
  • Consistent issues with biting into the roof of the mouth or the cheek
  • Teeth grinding

Orthodontic Options for Teens

When most people think about braces, they think about teenagers. That’s because the teen years are prime time for orthodontic intervention. Your teenager will have most adult teeth already in their mouth, but they are still growing, which provides great possibilities for orthodontic treatment plans.

Even if your child received a certain amount of orthodontic treatment at a younger age, additional intervention in the teen years might be necessary to ensure that they do not need to worry about braces or Invisalign as an adult. Depending on the situation that your teenager is in, they might be eligible for braces or Invisalign Teen.

What Are Some of the Signs Your Teen Might Need Orthodontic Care?

Some of the indicators that a teenager might be in need of braces or other types of orthodontic care include:

  • Clicking or discomfort in the jaw
  • Trouble biting or chewing
  • Teeth that do not meet correctly or comfortably
  • Overbite or underbite
  • Trouble with biting the cheek
  • Crowded teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Premature or delayed loss of baby teeth
  • Jaws and teeth that don’t feel like they are proportionate to the rest of the face

Orthodontic Options for Adults

It’s never too late to feel good about your smile and experience the benefits of braces or Invisalign. Some adults choose to invest in orthodontic treatment to feel confident in their smiles, while others want to avoid the potential tooth decay that comes with crowded teeth. You deserve a smile that you are excited to show off, regardless of how old or young you are.

What Are Some of the Signs You Might Need Orthodontic Care?

Some of the signs that you can benefit from adult braces or orthodontics include:

  • Your teeth are shifting over time, or they have shifted since you had braces at an earlier age
  • You have pain in your mouth or jaw
  • You find yourself hesitating to smile
  • Biting or chewing is difficult
  • You struggle to properly clean your teeth due to crowding or gapping

When you visit the orthodontist for your consultation, they will be able to assess your overall oral health and provide you with a customized treatment plan so that you can feel confident about your smile again.