When is the best age to begin orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment can be received at any age. However, there is a window of time when it is best to begin. Starting your treatment during this time period will ensure the best results and the shortest period of treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you first see an orthodontist at age seven. Chances are that treatment will not be needed so early, but it does allow any issues to be noticed and closely monitored until the ideal moment for beginning treatment arrives.
What are the benefits of visiting the orthodontist at an early age?
An early evaluation can allow your orthodontist to detect any issues before they become problematic, increasing the effectiveness of treatment. Early treatment can prevent more serious problems later in life.
Why is age seven the right time to get a screening?
By this age, the first adult molars have come in. This establishes the back bite. The establishment of the back bite allows the orthodontist to evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. Conditions which can be caught at this time include overbite, open bite, crowding, and gummy smiles.
What are some benefits of receiving interceptive treatment?
There are many benefits to interceptive treatment. Some of the most important are:
- Making space for crowded teeth
- Creating balance in the facial features
- Lowering the possibility of tooth trauma
- Preserving space for emerging teeth
- Lowering the need for tooth removal
- Reducing the amount of time spent in braces
Orthodontics is more than just a good looking smile – it creates a healthier you.
Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults. A new smile can begin today.
Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.
The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time and may allow you to choose from several options. Read about your options here.
During the initial examination, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. During this initial examination, we can outline the treatment plan, time of treatment expected and the approximate cost.
A large percentage of our patients are adults, and they agree that it’s never too late to improve their greatest asset – their smile.
Long Term Benefits of Treatment
- Better function of teeth
- Able to clean teeth better reducing risk for gum disease and tooth decay
- Reduction of the risk of injury if front teeth protrude
- Reduced appearance consciousness during critical development years (pre-teens and teens)
- Better function of teeth
- Possible increase in self-esteem and confidence
- Proper teeth alignment ignites perceptions, assumptions and judgments regarding success, popularity, general health and intelligence (California Study by Align Technology)
- A more attractive smile
Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Sleep apnea is a medical condition in which a person will temporarily stop breathing while sleeping. This condition afflicts more than 12 million Americans. There are three different kinds of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is the most prevalent kind of sleep apnea. It occurs when the airway is obstructed, most often by soft tissue located in the back of the throat. This causes the throat to close during sleep.
- Central Sleep Apnea: This occurs when your central nervous system fails to deliver signals from the brain to your muscles that regulate breathing.
- Mixed Sleep Apnea: This type of sleep apnea is a combination of the previous two types.
When left untreated, all types of sleep apnea will cause the individual to repeatedly cease to breathe while sleeping. When this happens, the brain will wake the individual to ensure that he or she resumes breathing. This results in poor sleep, which can impact both mental and physical health.
While the illness targets overweight men, aged 40 and older, it can affect anyone of any age. The majority of suffers are untreated as they lack awareness of what is happening.
To diagnosis sleep apnea, several factors will be considered: medical history, family history, a physical exam, and a sleep study. A sleep study will require you to stay overnight at a sleep center where your functions will be constantly monitored overnight.
The severity of the case of sleep apnea will determine the treatment given. In mild cases, the patient may simply be directed to stop smoking or lose weight. In severe cases, use of a CPAP machine or surgery may be needed.
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, memory impairment, headaches, and severe fatigue.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, 45% of adults snore. At least 25% of them consistently snore as they sleep, which can qualify as a sleep disorder.
When air flow through the nose is obstructed, snoring results. This obstruction can be caused by a variety of issues, including a deviated septum, polyps, tissues in the back of the mouth, long palate, or long uvula.
If the only problem is noisy breathing, there are new, simple procedures available that have been proven to provide optimum results. When snoring problems are more complex, a more thorough examination will have to be conducted to rule out more dangerous sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
Following a complete medical history and physical exam, your ENT specialist will be able to determine the best course of treatment for you. For some, simple lifestyle changes can help stop snoring, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol consumption close to bedtime and sleeping on your side. While for others, oral appliances CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) devices or surgery may be necessary to prevent snoring.
While all teeth can potentially become impacted, it is the wisdom teeth—or third molars—which are most prone to impaction. These teeth generally will not emerge until the late teens or early twenties. The jaw often cannot accommodate these teeth, preventing the teeth from fully erupting or erupting at all. The resulting condition is impaction. Problems caused by impaction include:
- Crowded or poorly spaced teeth leading to an improper bite
- Increased wearing on the teeth
- Obstructed sinus cavity
If the impacted tooth is able to erupt, minor surgery can be used to help maneuver it into the correct position. When the wisdom teeth are unable to erupt, they can become inflamed and cause sacs to develop around the roots of the teeth. These subsequently fill with liquid, leading to cysts and abscesses when infected. Without treatment, the bone and teeth can be permanently damaged. To avoid such a dire situation, removal of the teeth may be necessary.
Other common complaints discovered during orthodontic consultation
Patients often say…
- I have chips and fractures
- I have trouble brushing and flossing to keep things clean and my gums healthy
- I snore or often wake up tired
- I have headaches
- I have TMJ or jaw pain
- I have gaps or spaces between my teeth
- My teeth are crowded or crooked
- My teeth aren’t symmetrical
- I don’t like my profile
- I don’t like to smile in pictures or I’m embarrassed to show my teeth
- I need cosmetic dentistry and my dentist advised me to align my teeth prior to doing the work
- I don’t like the color of my teeth
- I experience teasing from other people about appearance of teeth
- I have low self-confidence or self-esteem
- I have social anxiety
- I have problems eating or chewing food
- Past or present thumb / finger sucking