When is the best time to begin orthodontics?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur either at the first sign of bite problems or no later than age 7.
Of course that at this tender age orthodontic treatment may not be necessary. The value of such early evaluation, however, is that it can anticipate what will be the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
Although an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment that will vary from person to person, from bite to bite. Beginning treatment at the time Dr. Martines suggests ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense.
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. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist 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 and establish the back bite. At this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting front teeth can indicate a possible overbite or underbite in the making, an open bite or a deep bite development, and crowded or gummy smiles. Timely screening significantly improves the chances for a life-long healthy bite and a beautiful smile.
What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
- Reducing the need for tooth removal by preserving space for unerupted teeth and by creating room for crowded, erupting teeth.
- Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth.
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth.
- Elimination of habits that create bad bites.
- 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 bad bites (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.
- Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.
Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a beautiful smile – it creates a healthier you.