Ortho for All Ages
ORTHODONTICS FOR CHILDREN
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, allowing Drs. Louie and Mah to make an early assessment and correct tooth and jaw discrepancies sooner, if needed. Early correction of certain malocclusions can help avoid more complicated treatment in the future. If there is no immediate need for intervention, regular follow-up visits allow us to monitor your child’s development and determine when treatment may be required.
Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaws to help improve the skeletal relationship and to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Improve tooth positions to avoid trauma or traumatic bites
- Potentially avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
- Correct habits like thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems
It is not always easy to recognize if your child may need orthodontic treatment. There are a few things that you should be mindful of that may indicate your child’s need to see an orthodontic specialist.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Should you become aware of one or some of these issues, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. We would be happy to assess your child’s needs. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.
ORTHODONTICS FOR TEENS
Braces! What now?
You have just been told you need braces! What now? Don't worry! Braces aren't nearly as terrible as you may think. Braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors, making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and more stylish than in the past. In fact, a large majority of teens today undergo orthodontic treatment. We are sure you have seen many of your friends with braces!
How long will I have to wear braces?
The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:
- Early treatment — Early evaluation allows orthodontists to monitor growth of the jaws and recommend orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment; in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait to receive treatment. The goal of early treatment is to improve the bite or jaw relationship at a time when the particular stage in development can be taken advantage of, to minimize the need for future treatment, and to reduce the severity of the bite or complexity of future treatment.
- What needs correction — The amount and type of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process will take. Every patient had a unique bite. While it may take one patient only 12 months to complete treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you that spectacular smile you expect.
- YOU! — Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to correct your bite and complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; breakages and mistreatment result in increased treatment times.
Braces Your Way!
Our practice offers a variety of braces, types and styles, to choose from. Some common options include:
- Ceramic braces
- Invisalign appliances
- Traditional metal braces
Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people your age. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today's braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule your next orthodontic checkup.
ORTHODONTICS FOR ADULTS
Orthodontic treatment is not just for teens. In fact, the Canadian Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients (20%) is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Others haven’t had the opportunity to have treatment until now. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.
Common reasons why adults consider orthodontic treatment:
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly causing tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease
- Abnormal jaw pain, or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth
- Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
Treatment options for adults
For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Types of braces include:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Invisalign appliances
- Traditional metal braces
The differences between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens:
The main difference when treating adults or children and teens is growth. In younger patients, the jawbones are still developing while for adults, these bones have stopped growing. Depending on the severity of the discrepancy of the jaw relationship, a younger patient may be treated by growth modification while this may mean the possibility of orthognathic surgery in adults to align the jawbones. Other differences include:
- Periodontal disease (Gum or bone loss) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease as oral hygiene tends to be less difficult when teeth are aligned.
- Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can result in other teeth shifting and tipping, creating a bad bite and increasing the potential for periodontal disease.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen or orthodontic relapse — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve that healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted. Other adults have successfully completely treatment in their teens but did not continue with retainer wear and the teeth have shifted over time and are no longer straight.
Our practice recognizes that adults and children have different needs, and require different levels of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment, and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.
Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, which may help prevent periodontal disease and other health problems.
- A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without restraint.
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it's needed can create long-term health issues
- In preparation for restorative treatment – Prolonged duration of missing teeth can result in adjacent or opposing teeth tipping into the space where a tooth used to be. When your dentist or prosthodontic specialist plan for the replacement of the missing tooth, many times orthodontic treatment will be necessary to align the other teeth to allow for the restoration of the lost tooth.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We would be happy to discuss your treatment options. We understand that you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.