Kids can need braces for any number of reasons, including crooked, overlapping, or overcrowded teeth, or a “bad bite” (known as malocclusion). Malocclusion is when there’s a difference in the sizes of the top and bottom jaws. When the upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw, it’s called an overbite. When the lower jaw is bigger, it’s called an underbite. Or when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw it is called cross bite
Sometimes tooth and jaw problems can be caused by losing baby teeth too soon, accidents, or habits like thumb sucking. But often they’re inherited, so if you or someone in your family needed braces, it’s likely that your kids will, too.
Often, your child’s dentist will be the first to notice problems during a regular visit and recommend that you see an orthodontist (a dentist who specializes in correcting jaw and/or teeth alignment problems). The orthodontist can decide whether your child does indeed need braces and which devices would be best.
The American Association of Orthodontist (AAO) recommends that children are evaluated by an orthodontist to rule out any of the above mentioned jaw discrepancies.
Children’s orthodontic treatment could be in several phases.
Phase I orthodontic treatment:
This is also called “interceptive treatment”. It is usually done when the child is 7-10 years old. It addresses and corrects one or two urgent problems (habits, jaw problems, severe crowding). Treatment time is usually 9-12 months. The goal of this treatment is either to eliminate the problem completely or to improve it so that full braces later will not be needed or will be shorter and easier.
Phase II orthodontic treatment:
This treatment is few years after Phase I.
Comprehensive orthodontic treatment:
This is full orthodontic treatment that will address all the teeth and bite issues. Average orthodontic treatment is about 24 months.
Any orthodontic treatment has to be retained. Whether the teeth are straight naturally or with orthodontic treatment, unfortunately teeth will move with time. In order to minimize that movement retainers need to be worn. Ideally for a life time.
Does the word braces call to mind a teenager with a mouth full of metal? If so, it’s time to rethink that picture.
These days, people of all ages want to straighten their teeth. In fact, a huge number of adults are hopping on the braces bandwagon to get the smile they’ve always wanted. Can adults benefit from orthodontic braces? Absolutely! Crooked or misaligned teeth look unsightly, which can cause low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence. Aside from poor aesthetics, improperly aligned teeth can also cause difficulties in biting, chewing, and articulating clearly. Generally speaking, orthodontists agree that straight teeth tend to be healthier teeth.
Fortunately, orthodontic braces have been adapted and modified to make them more convenient for adults. There is now a wide range of fixed and removable orthodontic treatments available, depending on the problem.
Adult orthodontic treatment can be full/comprehensive treatment or it can be “just a little touch up” of one jaw. Sometimes adult orthodontic is recommended to make dental rehabilitation (crowns, bridges, veneers, implants etc ) outcomes better.
Invisalign aligners are the clear alternative to metal braces for adults and teens. These clear aligners are the virtually invisible way to improve your smile. However, to properly work these alighners need to be worn 23hrs/day.Invisalign uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to shift crowded or mispositioned teeth into a straighter position. This revolutionary system, available here at our Ocean Office, allows you to incrementally improve the look of your smile with discretion and comfort.
Braces are a common and almost expected part of growing up (and many adults get braces, too).
Braces could be metal or ceramic (tooth colored). To keep the wire in place colored elastics are placed. Those colors are changed monthly.
In addition to braces there are different orthodontic and orthopedic appliances that are used depending on the dental/skeletal problem. With each appliance you will be instructed on how to take care of it and how to activate it. We will monitor you closely.
Expanders are appliances used to widen the upper jaw. Usually it is cemented and needs to be activated daily.
Head gear is used to correct severe overbites. It is worn at home only.
Facemasks are used to correct underbites. It is worn at home only.
Digit/thumb sucking, tongue thrusting are habits that can create open bites and other dental/skeletal anomalies. For the overall success and stability of orthodontic treatment habit control and cessation is very crucial. Habit breaking appliances are cemented/fixed appliances. They will stay in the mouth additional 3months after the habit is stopped.