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All children should get an orthodontic checkup by Age 7.
Dr. Wang and the American Association of Orthodontists recommend all children should see an orthodontist by this age because the first set of permanent molars and incisors have usually erupted. This is the ideal time to evaluate your child’s tooth relationships and facial pattern to check for proper balance, symmetry and growth. This evaluation may reveal that development is fine and early treatment is not needed. Or, Dr. Wang may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring your child’s growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time. In other cases, Dr. Wang might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.
Phase One Treatment
If early treatment is indicated, Dr. Wang will recommend a Phase One plan to help guide the growth of the jaws and incoming permanent teeth. Phase One treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases, Dr. Wang will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.
can also regulate the width of the dental arches, create space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent teeth extractions, reduce the likelihood of impacted teeth, correct thumb sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. Common Phase One treatments may include partial braces, expanders, space maintainers, headgears or retainers.
After Phase One treatment is completed, there is usually a rest period when the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. Dr. Wang will continue to monitor your child’s dental and jaw development during periodic recall observation appointments. The teeth are still not in their final positions, as this will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment.
PHASE 2/ADOLESCENT TREATMENT
Phase Two/Full Treatment: Stay healthy and look attractive
The goal of the second phase (also considered Full Treatment if no early treatment was needed) is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. The second phase will generally begin after all the baby teeth have fallen out and permanent teeth have come in, usually around 12-13 years old. Treatment options for this phase will depend on your child’s individual needs. Some kids and teens will need braces with rubber bands, while others will need Invisalign. Once the teeth are in their final positions, retainers will be worn to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. One of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over 21. Adults no longer have to feel self conscious or be ashamed of their smile. There are many different treatment options that are available for adults that are less noticeable than traditional metal braces. These options include Invisalign clear aligners, clear or tooth colored braces, and lingual braces (behind the teeth).
Benefits of Adult Orthodontics
Improves aesthetics for a better smile and facial appearance
Improves self-confidence and self-esteem
Improves function of teeth
Can help prevent or improve periodontal problems
Improves ability of your dentist to restore missing teeth
COMMON ORTHODONTIC PROBLEMS
Crowding occurs when there are too many teeth for the dental arch to accommodate. Crowding can make brushing and flossing difficult, which may result in cavities, gum disease and bone loss.
Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or by teeth that do not “fill up” the dental arches. Spacing is usually a cosmetic problem, but may sometimes affect the health of the bone and gums.
Protrusion is what many people commonly refer to as an “overbite”. This may be caused by the upper teeth flaring forward or te upper and lower jaws growing at different rates. Protruded teeth are much more likely to get injured in sports and other daily activities.
An underbite occurs when the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth when back teeth are closed. This is caused by an undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. An underbite can cause poor chewing, speech impairment, excessive tooth wear, and can cause painful jaw/joint problems.
Crossbites occur when the upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower teeth. They can occur on either the front teeth, side teeth, or both. Crossbites can cause excessive wear of the teeth, permanent changes to the face/jaws, and may cause painful jaw/joint problems.
Overbite (Deep Bite)
Deep bite or overbite occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. Severe deep bites can lead to gum problems/irritations and excessive wear on the lower teeth.
Openbite: Front teeth don’t touch
Open bites occur when some teeth are unable to make contact with the opposing teeth of the other jaw. Most often caused by an abnormal jaw structure or excessive thumb sucking, an open bite can cause poor or painful chewing, and even speech impairment.