Orthodontic Treatment and Care: When Should You Start
There is a common misconception that orthodontic care, especially in reference to braces, is restricted to adolescence. However, people can benefit from these treatments at different ages. Dental specialists, like orthodontists, are specially trained in tooth and jaw alignment, and this can be incredibly useful to those patients concerned with the appearance of their smile. While everyone should see an orthodontic specialist at some point in their lives, not everyone will make an appointment during their youth.
It is true that the American Association of Orthodontists recommend that children receive screenings at seven years. However, while it may be easier to make adjustments in children due to their bones and tissue growth, orthodontic care can be beneficial to anyone at any age. In fact, while the timeline for treatment may be slightly different, braces require the same mechanical process in children and adults, meaning that the length of the therapy may only be minimally different.
Children with Baby Teeth
For children with significant orthodontic problems, early intervention may be possible. While treatment may not be ideal for patients who still have baby teeth, it is possible if there are mitigating circumstances. If no such conditions exist, then an orthodontist will likely advise against intervention and instead wait until phase one treatment can begin.
Phase one or early treatment is typically six to 12 months and is done on patients between the ages of seven and 10. This treatment is generally used only on patients who suffer from significant alignment issues. It is a preventative measure, and it also aims to improve self-esteem or image.
Never Too Old
While braces are typically associated with children and teens, many people would be surprised by the number of adults who are orthodontic patients. Nearly 40% of all orthodontic patients are adults. The reasons vary, but most relate to happiness and self-esteem. While the alignment process may differ slightly from younger patients, the treatment timeline is likely similar. As many adults are concerned with the appearance of braces, many choose clear aligners.
While the consensus is that people should begin seeing an orthodontist by the age of seven, many don’t. A surprising number of patients do not schedule their first orthodontic appointment until they are adults. Confidence in appearance is a significant factor in wanting braces, and it is for that reason that you may wish to consult with an orthodontist about braces in Dana Point, CA. If you have a gap in your smile or other alignment concerns, then schedule a consultation at a local orthodontic office.
Thanks to John Redmond Orthodontics for their insight into orthodontics and when to start seeing one.