Having straight teeth may be the key to feeling more self-confident about your appearance. However, not everyone is born with perfectly straight teeth, so orthodontics treatments may be necessary to achieve a straighter, more even smile. But what is the best age to start visiting an orthodontist for treatment? Learn everything about teeth-straightening treatments for all ages before you schedule an appointment at Bowman DMD in Fort Walton Beach, FL.
What Is the Best Age for Getting Orthodontic Treatment?
Many orthodontists recommend starting orthodontics treatment as early as possible. The main reason why orthodontics treatments are recommended from an early age is that teeth in younger people are easier to shift due to softer jawbones and adult teeth that are growing in. However, although getting orthodontics treatment younger is recommended, you can usually visit an orthodontist throughout your lifetime to address any of your tooth alignment concerns.
Is It Ever Too Late to Get Braces?
While orthodontic treatments such as braces are most commonly found in adolescents and teens, there are many adults who get braces after the age of 30. With the right treatment plan, it’s never too late to get braces or undergo treatments that can straighten your teeth. In fact, for people who were unable to afford orthodontics treatments in their youth, adult orthodontic treatments can be a good way to boost oral health and self-confidence.
What Can You Expect During an Orthodontist Visit?
During your first visit with an orthodontic specialist, you will need to discuss all of your tooth alignment concerns. We will pay particular attention to any trouble spots you identify, such as crowded teeth that make it difficult to properly floss. Along with a detailed conversation about your dental hygiene and tooth alignment concerns, we will also gather specific information to build an effective treatment plan.
Medical and Dental History
Your medical and dental history is very important when you want to receive orthodontics care. Whether or not you have had braces in the past or if you have several fillings in your teeth, your dental history will inform orthodontic experts about the best way to align your teeth. Your medical history may also be relevant, particularly if you are an adult with certain health conditions.
An oral examination is another crucial part of your initial visit. This examination will identify any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or major alignment issues such as impacted teeth or missing teeth. The oral examination may reveal that you need to have additional steps added to your treatment plan to correct general dentistry concerns before you can undergo cosmetic dentistry treatments such as braces.
The final step of your consultation will be oral imaging with x-rays to assess the density of your jawbone, the alignment of your teeth, and any hidden issues that can be identified with imaging. X-rays are capable of revealing pathologies in your jawbone, as well as hidden cysts or tumors that may need to be addressed before you can have orthodontics treatments.
What Are Your Orthodontic Treatment Options?
When it comes to restoring the alignment of your teeth, you have several treatment options to consider. Braces are an umbrella term for any tooth alignment treatment that uses pressure and specialized tools to straighten the teeth gradually. However, people have more subtle options than traditional bracket braces these days. Some of the most popular orthodontics treatment options include:
Mini-diamond braces are significantly smaller than traditional metal braces that have large brackets. Mini-diamond braces are more comfortable because of their smaller size and can be used by patients of all ages. These smaller braces have the same treatment time as traditional braces and are generally as effective for permanently straightening the teeth.
Clear Ceramic Braces
If you want a more subtle treatment option, then clear ceramic braces may be a good idea for you. Clear ceramic braces are about the same size as traditional wire bracket braces, but the material is made out of ceramic that is not immediately visible to the eye. Ceramic braces typically have the same treatment timeline as traditional braces and can address mild to moderate alignment concerns.
SmartClip braces are a unique system that uses self-ligation technology to adhere the wire to the bracket. SmartClip braces allow the wire to slide back and forth within the bracket, which results in less friction for the mouth. One of the biggest benefits of SmartClip braces is the reduced number of adjustments you will have to undergo throughout your treatment plan. Many people who use these braces can also benefit from better gum health and easier oral hygiene.
Invisalign is one of the more popular treatment options for teens and adults. Invisalign is more effective now than ever before and allows patients to correct most tooth alignment concerns, including bite problems. This treatment works by using specially made invisible aligner trays, which are periodically traded out to gradually straighten the teeth in around half the time as traditional braces.
Carriere Motion Appliance
One of the newer treatment options for patients who want to straighten their teeth quickly is the Carriere Motion Appliance. This is a unique tool that jump-starts your orthodontic treatment by correcting bite alignment issues before braces are used. This appliance is usually installed in the mouth for four to six months to correct the alignment of the buccal segment of your teeth, which can include the premolars, first molars, and canines for your top arch.
Which Treatment Option Is Ideal for You?
Selecting the ideal orthodontic treatment for you will depend on factors such as your age, your bite and alignment concerns, and your aesthetic preferences. Treatments such as Invisalign are generally not recommended for children because the care instructions may be difficult to remember. Mini-diamond braces, clear ceramic braces, and SmartClip braces can be used by people of all ages.
When Should You Start Orthodontic Visits?
Orthodontists agree that adolescence is the best age to start orthodontic treatment, but the best time to start visiting an orthodontic expert is usually around age seven, which is when adult teeth start to emerge from the gums. Visiting an orthodontic expert as a child can ensure there is no malocclusion due to tooth or jaw misalignment.
With x-ray planning during early childhood, it’s much easier for dental experts to create room in the mouth to reduce crowding teeth or crooked teeth. Early intervention can also reduce protruding teeth, avoid tooth removal, and generally improve oral health. Early visits with an orthodontic expert can reduce the timeline for orthodontic treatments like braces. Furthermore, early visits can identify potential impaction from wisdom teeth that may cause pain later in life.
Why Is Poor Tooth Alignment a Problem?
Poor tooth alignment is more than a cosmetic concern. When teeth are misaligned or crowded, it’s much easier for the teeth to develop cavities and gum disease because oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing, is more difficult. Poor tooth alignment can also result in bone loss or even pain like TMJ for adult patients. If you want to enjoy good oral health, then making sure you can properly clean your teeth can preserve your teeth for as long as possible.
Poor tooth alignment, such as bite issues, can also cause abnormal enamel wear that will eventually weaken the teeth. When enamel is weak, it’s much easier to develop cracked teeth, particularly on misaligned back molars that are exposed to daily pressure from eating.
Are You a Good Candidate for Orthodontic Care?
Orthodontic care is most appropriate for people who are in good health and have healthy, strong teeth. Although you can still have braces or use treatments such as Invisalign if you have cavities, your treatment process may be more complicated. Furthermore, if you have lost density in your jaw, an orthodontic expert may want to address this so you can enjoy longer-lasting results from your teeth straightening treatments.
Schedule a Visit With an Orthodontist Today
Many orthodontic experts recommend starting orthodontic treatments during early childhood. However, while early intervention will set you up for a lifetime of good oral health, the fact is that you can have braces at any age. There are several orthodontic treatments to consider, including options such as Invisalign or clear ceramic braces that can subtly straighten teeth. If you’re ready to straighten your teeth, schedule a consultation at Bowman DMD in Fort Walton Beach, FL today.