There was a time, not so long ago, when orthodontic treatment was considered to be for children and teenagers only.
And those can be the optimum ages for orthodontic treatment. But as time has passed, improvements in dental technology have made installation of adult braces more popular.
The process is fairly similar, although there are some differences that affect treatment. These differences have some implications for how orthodontic treatment works, and when it should be undertaken.
Thornton Dental believes everyone’s smile should be perfect, and so we offer you this information about orthodontic treatments, and how the age of a patient affects them.
What does orthodontics do?
Simply put, orthodontics treats misalignments of the teeth and jaw, which can lead to diminished facial aesthetics, difficulties chewing, speech defects, and difficulty maintaining adequate dental hygiene. And while orthodontic treatment can include other dental treatments such as tooth-extraction or jaw-bone augmentation, most of its treatments are some form of ‘braces’.
Orthodontics for the young
The fact is, orthodontics is quickest and most successful with younger patients, which is why an orthodontic evaluation should be done before a child reaches age 7. In fact, earlier might even be better as there are three timeframes for orthodonture in the young patient.
There are stages to early orthodontic treatment:
Stage One: Early treatment can begin as early as two or three, and go on until about age six. This stage focuses on preventive measures and creating a plan for the future.
Stage Two: Between 6-12 years old, the first permanent teeth come in. At this time early treatment for misalignment or bite issues is possible. During adolescence, further treatment may be suggested.
Differences between adult and children’s orthodontics
There are multiple reason that older jaws and teeth are more difficult to fix. Because children are experiencing the growth of the teeth and jaws, their more flexible situation makes them good candidates for treatment as the movement and adjustment of teeth is relatively easier in a mouth that is also changing.
Improper bite is the most common reason for orthodontic treatment – but it can be made worse by daily wear and tear, becoming more difficult to fix and resulting in a treatment plan that is more focused on functionality of the bite than on cosmetic repair. For children, with their newer and more complete teeth, function and aesthetics can be more easily addressed.
Another challenge for orthodontic treatments of adults are previous dental treatments. Previous tooth extractions, for instance, may require prosthetic bone treatment before orthodontic processes can be successful.
Another issue is root resorption, during which the body reabsorbs the root of the tooth, leaving that tooth without a solid setting, and at risk of looseness or falling out.
Yet one more issue is temporomandibular joint disorder. TMD sufferers have problems with the jaw and the jaw joint that can make orthodontic treatment more difficult. Children are much less likely to have TMD.
Finally, there are aesthetic issues at play. Many adults avoid traditional braces because they are invested in how they look. For adults, their fears are based on how they are perceived at work, play, or in relationships. Fortunately, as technology has advanced, braces have become less and less visually intrusive.
Orthodontic options at Thornton Dental
Fixed braces or conventional braces are built from bands and archwires. The brackets are fitted on the exterior of your teeth and the archwires are slotted into these brackets. The archwire straightens using light force from elastic bands, and gradually moves your teeth into their desired position.
Common advantages of fixed braces:
- Ideal for all ages
- Corrects bite effectively
Removable braces are usually made of delicate wires with springs attached. Like fixed braces, removable braces move teeth using gentle, consistent pressure. Removable braces are typically used for less-serious orthodontic needs or in conjunction with fixed braces as an addition or combined treatment.
Common advantages of removable braces:
- Ideal for kids and teenagers
- Ideal for adults as a retainer after fixed dental braces
- Clear removable braces are invisible
- Easy to clean
Orthodontic Consultation in Thornton
If you think your smile or bite is in need of orthodontic correction, contact us at Thornton Dental for a consultation. We comprehensively evaluate your case and then recommend which type of dental brace is best for your teeth. We offer different orthodontic solutions to effectively address any orthodontic issue you may have.
Why Choose Thornton Dental?
- We focus on patient care
- Exceptional infection control
- Friendly, approachable and experienced team
- Child friendly and relaxing environment
- Patient comfort, safety and satisfaction are our primary goals
- Customised care tailored to your specific needs
- Integrity, high standards, premium quality materials
- Anxiety control and pain management
Thornton Dental serves the community of Thornton, Beresfield, Tarro, Woodberry, East Maitland, Chisholm, Raymond Terrace, Green hills, Metford, Ashtonfield, Tenambit, Morpeth, Lorn, Bolwarra Heights, and surrounding areas of Maitland.