All About Braces
Benefits of Braces
There are benefits from having healthy teeth and a proper jaw alignment. Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This can result in tooth decay, gum disease, and lead to tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and bone that supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints. These can lead to chronic headaches and face or neck pain. Treatment for an orthodontic problem can be less costly than the additional care required for treating dental problems arising as a result of orthodontic problems. In our office we have Board Certified Pediatric Dentists and Orthodontist can help evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs and recommend treatment. Dr. James Gleason delivers the full range or orthodontic care right in our office. They can help evaluate your orthodontic needs and recommend treatment.
Children and Treatment
Evaluating children for orthodontic needs is based on individual needs. Some children need early care, perhaps at ages 7 to 10. Other cases will be started once all the deciduous teeth have been lost (pre-teen and teenage years).
For children in the 7 to 10 age range, it is also the best time to be treated for interceptive or early treatment. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and cross-bites, crowding and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, the dentist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions and reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth. Full orthodontic braces are usually started between 5th and 8th grade, depending on the individual childs dental age.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. Now the brackets are merely bonded to the front of the teeth. The brackets may be clear or metal. The patient can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in the brackets. It actually makes the experience fun for the children.
Duration of Treatment
Treatment time typically ranges from six months to three years, depending on the growth of the patients mouth and face and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond differently to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may differ from the original estimate. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months. The patients diligent use of any prescribed elastics or an orthodontic appliance is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the doctor and staff. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time also.