Caring for your child’s smile is one of the most significant endeavors a parent is responsible for overseeing. Along with making sure your child learns good oral health habits and visits the dentist twice a year, it’s important to take them to see an orthodontist during adolescence to address any potential orthodontic concerns and keep their smiles healthy for a lifetime. At Northeast Orthodontic Specialists, we know that getting braces during childhood can be an exciting yet daunting experience for many families. That’s why Dr. Stadiem and his friendly team are committed to making the process as smooth as possible for your child and you. Here’s everything you should know about adolescent orthodontics before scheduling a consultation for your child.
What is the Appropriate Age for Orthodontics?
There is no one-time-fits-all time to get braces. Children Usually get braces during the tween years (between 10 and 13). At this stage of their development, adolescents have usually lost all their baby teeth, permanent teeth have largely come in, and their jaws are developed enough to sustain orthodontic treatment. However, it’s also important to get an early orthodontic treatment appointment as early as age 7 to evaluate if will help determine if any early orthodontic care is needed.
What Types of Orthodontic Treatments Do You Offer?
At Northeast Orthodontic Specialists, we offer a number of orthodontic treatments for adolescents, including:
- Traditional Metal Braces
- Ceramic or Clear Braces
- Invisalign Clear Aligners
During your consultation, Dr. Stadiem can assist you and in your child determine the best type of orthodontic treatment for their particular needs and lifestyle.
What Are the Benefits of Orthodontic Care for Teens?
Orthodontic problems don’t get better over time; they can worsen and cause further complications throughout your child’s life if left untreated. For this reason, it’s best to address any orthodontic concerns, such as overbite, crossbite, or jaw alignment problems, as soon as their baby teeth have all fallen out and their permanent teeth have emerged. Correcting your teen’s imperfect smile early is a great way to
- Prevent difficulty in eating, speaking, and practicing good oral hygiene
- Alleviate pain or discomfort from overcrowded teeth, teeth shifting, or a misaligned jaw
- Boost their confidence by improving their appearance
How Long Will I Need to Wear My Orthodontic Appliances?
Most adolescents can expect to wear their orthodontic appliances for around two years. However, it could be shorter or longer, depending on the extent of orthodontic treatment needed.
What is the Difference Between Adults and Adolescent Orthodontics?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children as young as seven years old visit an orthodontist to be examined for potential orthodontic problems. This is because during adolescence, children’s jaws are still growing. If any concerns are identified during this time, an orthodontist can help modify or improve the way the child’s mouth is forming. Treatment times are often faster for adolescents since their mouths are still developing and tend to respond quickly to orthodontic intervention.
On the other hand, adults’ jaws are done growing, which means that their orthodontic treatment may be more involved in order to resolve their orthodontic concerns. Additionally, adults are more likely to have dental concerns that must be addressed before they can undergo orthodontic treatments, such as gum disease or missing teeth.
What Does the Orthodontic Process Involve?
Your orthodontic experience will vary depending on the type of treatment you receive. When you come into Northeast Orthodontic Specialists for your consultation, we will take pictures and X-rays of your mouth, as well as taking a mold of your teeth. Then, Dr. Stadiem will recommend an orthodontic treatment plan based on your individual needs. These could include:
- Traditional Braces: These consist of metal or ceramic brackets that are glued to your teeth and are held together by a metal wire that puts pressure on the teeth, moving them to the desired location. They cannot be removed and are adjusted every 4 to 6 weeks. They are usually the best option for extensive orthodontic problems.
- Invisalign: These are BPA-free plastic trays that are customized to fit a patient’s mouth. They can be taken out to eat or clean, but should be worn for at least 22 hours a day, and are replaced every 1 to 2 weeks to slowly move one’s teeth over time.
At Northeast Orthodontic Specialists, we can’t wait to keep your child’s smile healthy and beautiful for years to come! Call to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Stadiem today.