For many children and teenagers, braces are a right of passage. At Swan Orthodontics, there are a few factors that we look for when a patient is seeking braces or Invisalign treatment.
What is the right age for braces?
Patients of all ages are treated with braces, however, since the invention of clear aligner systems many patients choose those as an alternative. Many patients with braces are between the ages of 7 and 18. The recommended age to start treatment varies based on biology- how much growth a patient might have, what teeth are in and several other factors. At Swan Orthodontics we offer free screenings to determine the ideal time to treat a patient. Often, we treat patients while they are still growing, aligning teeth in conjunction with a growing mouth reduces the chances of tooth or jawbone malformation at a later age. We also treat many adult patients who did not get the opportunity to be treated at children.
Signs A Child Might Require Braces
We see many patients with crowded teeth, this occurs naturally when teeth overlap, or come in crooked. Left untreated, this issue can increase the likelihood for cavities and can also cause chipping, fracturing or uneven wear of teeth which can cause more complicated problems if left untreated. Some patients even have difficulty chewing or speaking from the severity of their crowded teeth.
Thumb-sucking, although very common for most young children, can have some detrimental side effects on the teeth and mouth. Thumb-sucking can interfere with the normal development of the roof of the mouth as well as the teeth. Dentists and Orthodontists encourage patients to discontinue all thumb and finger habits by the age of four so that they do not hinder their development.
Late Development or Loss Of Baby Teeth
The premature loss of baby usually results in the loss of space for the permanent tooth to come in once it is fully developed. Should baby teeth be lost at a later stage, adult teeth develop at a slower rate than the remainder of the jaw and other components. Such circumstances also increase the child’s risk of experiencing poorly aligned teeth.
A Misaligned Jaw
A misaligned jaw might not be easy for a parent to detect. However, if they notice that their child experiences difficulty chewing or displays a tendency to bite their tongue or cheek frequently, the jaw might be the issue. Jaw problems can easily translate to tooth misalignment.
When a child breathes with their mouth open, their tongue fails to remain in its natural position. Over time, this can lead to the development of narrow jaws, which limits the amount of room teeth have to grow.
If you believe that you, or your child might require braces or aligner therapy you are encouraged to contact us. Dr. Swan will perform a thorough examination and offer suggestions regarding the most appropriate next steps. For more information about our practice, contact us today.