The Right Age
Dr. Hughes recommends that a child receive his or her first orthodontic examination at around age 7. Even though most patients do not require treatment at age 7, it gives him the opportunity diagnosis and treat small problems before they become bigger problems.
Typical signs of the need for an orthodontic exam include, but are not limited to the early or late loss of teeth, difficulty in chewing, mouth breathing, finger sucking, crowded teeth, jaw dysfunction, a sunken or protruding jaw, and misaligned teeth.
Interceptive care refers to orthodontic treatment at an age before all permanent teeth have erupted. This typically occurs between the ages of 7 and 10. We can often treat major problems with occlusion such as crossbites or severe skeletal structural issues, as well as early incisor alignment to diminish self-esteem issues. Early treatment may make subsequent treatment more productive with better end results.
We treat to balance aesthetics and function, and if those goals are best achieved with extractions, we will recommend the removal of teeth.
Orthodontics is more than straightening crooked teeth. An overbite, an underbite, a dysfunctional smile and a sunken or protruding chin can all be minimized with orthodontic treatment. Proper alignment of the teeth and jaws is beneficial to long-term oral health.
Treatment at this time provides us with the greatest opportunity to achieve the best result. Adolescent children are searching for their identity and their way in life; providing treatment at this time also allows us to provide encouragement and guidance as the child matures.
Most adults were unable to get orthodontic treatment during childhood and, as a result, have lived with misaligned teeth or a dysfunctional bite for most of their lives. Orthodontics can be very rewarding for adults that possess the patience to undergo the process.