The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child be evaluated for orthodontic treatment as early as age 7, and even earlier if the parent or family dentist discovers a problem. Drs. Salmon, Triftshauser and deSa believe that many orthodontic problems may benefit from early intervention/interception and that many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if treated early, prior to the completion of jaw growth. Only by evaluating your child and his or her orthodontic problem can the doctors determine if your child is ready for orthodontic treatment. More typically though, treatment is started when all baby teeth are out, usually between the ages of 10 and 12.
Orthodontics is not just for children. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, and it is never too late to improve your smile. We offer many innovative options in braces for children, adolescents and adults, including Invisalign® and cosmetic or tooth-colored brackets.
For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. A beautiful smile enhances self-confidence, esteem, career success and compensation, and one’s positive attitude toward life in general. During your treatment, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible.
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. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic color. You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.
Duration of Treatment
Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the growth of the patient's mouth and face and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may differ from the original estimate. The patient's diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands or headgear is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months.