Early Treatment

When is the best time to begin orthodontics?
A smile can be enhanced at any age; however, there is an optimal time period to begin orthodontic treatment. Beginning treatment during this period ensures the best result and the least amount of time and expense.

The American Association of orthodontist recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but careful examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible excessive overbite, openbite, overjet, crowding, or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for a dynamite smile!

What is interceptive treatment and what are the advantages?
Interceptive treatment involves preventive orthodontics that may include localized tooth movement in an otherwise normal dentition. Such treatment may include such procedures as the redirection of ectopically erupting teeth, correction of isolated dental crossbite or recovery of recent minor space loss. Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time with braces

Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment? Orthodontics is not merely for improving the esthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusion). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth and/or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth, and feel about your smile.

Why should a malocclusion be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusion 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. Crossbite can lead to unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbite can result in tongue thrusting habits and speech impediment. Ultimately, orthodontic treatment does more than make you smile-it creates a healthier you.