Why is adolescence the most common time to begin orthodontic treatment?
Though occasionally earlier intervention is necessary (see Early Treatment), the early teen and preteen, or “tween”, years are frequently associated with braces. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost this is when most if not all of the baby teeth have been lost and the adult teeth have come in. This allows us to correct the bite and straighten all the teeth at once thereby decreasing the length of time the braces have to be worn as opposed to starting the braces when there are still a lot of baby teeth present. In addition, many conditions such as jaw misalignments or narrow jaws become harder to treat with age when the bones of the jaw and face become fully developed. Treating during adolescence when the body is growing most rapidly makes it easier to treat these types of conditions. Lastly, getting braces seems to be a rite of passage for many teens. They see their classmates in our office getting braces and want to go through the process together so they can be done by their later high school years and start enjoying their new smiles!
Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
Why should malocclusions be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:
Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.
Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you.