A fabulous smile can make the most ordinary looking person attractive. When you look in the mirror are you happy with your smile? Does your smile look as good as it did when you were younger? Your smile is the most important feature on your face. Would not it be great if you looked fabulous?
When is the ideal time to seek treatment?
The best age to do the orthodontic treatment is when you are twelve to thirteen years of age as all the permanent teeth have usually erupted by this stage. The jaws are growing at this age and so it is easier to expand your jaws and reshape your mouth.
However, it may be worth seeking advice even earlier. By the age of seven, enough permanent teeth have come in and enough jaw growth has occurred that the dentist or orthodontist can identify current problems, anticipate future problems or alleviate parents” concerns if all seems normal.
How do I know if my child is a candidate for early orthodontic treatment?
Your child should be visiting his/her dentist every six months and they will advise you on any treatment your child requires. However, there are many signs or habits which you may be able to recognize yourself.
Early or late loss of baby teeth
Difficulty in chewing or biting
Crowding, misplaced or blocked out teeth
Jaws that shift or make sounds
Biting the cheek
Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
Am I too old for orthodontic treatment ?
There are no age limits! Orthodontic treatment can easily be done at an older age, if the dental and gingival health is good. Many people did not get braces when they were young. Either their parents could not afford braces, or their teeth could not be straightened with the techniques of 40 years ago. Most adults get orthodontic treatment because they realize that taking care of your smile is part of taking care of yourself.
Other people did have orthodontic treatment when they were young, but they did not wear their retainers until they stopped growing (you should wear your retainer until you are 24). The result is that their teeth are now a little bit crooked. Now they are unhappy with their smile so they get braces too.
Orthodontic treatment does take longer when you are older. It also feels a little different. Still, people as old as ninety are getting braces. People who live to the age of ninety know how important it is to take care of their teeth and orthodontic treatment is a part of that.
The brace will not mark the teeth. If dental plaque is allowed to become thick around the brace the plaque itself may damage the teeth. Instruction will be given on the use of special brushes. A daily fluoride mouthrinse can be used to harden areas that are very difficult to clean. Care must be taken to choose an alcohol-free, pH-balanced rinse. Certain foods and drinks may also lead to damage. You should avoid drinking lots of fizzy drinks and keep in-between-meal snacks to a minimum.
Very crunchy and sticky foods can break your brace. Toffee and chewing gum must be avoided. Really enjoyable hard foods can be chopped up and chewed gently!
It is important to realise that once a brace is removed the teeth can drift back towards their original positions. They must, therefore, be held in their new positions for a long time with retainer braces until they have settled. Retainers are either removable appliances or thin wires stuck onto the tongue side of the teeth.
After braces are removed, the teeth can shift out of position if they are not stabilized. Retainers provide that stabilization. They are designed to hold teeth in their corrected, ideal positions until the bones and gums adapt to the treatment changes. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed is the best insurance that the treatment improvements last for a lifetime.