When Is It Time To See An Orthodontist?

The questions arises for every parent at some point – how do we know when it’s time to see an Orthodontist?

Do you wait and let your dentist refer you?

Do you take steps on your own?

These questions don’t just have to be about your children! Many adults look in the mirror and ask the same questions about themselves.

When it comes to children it is usually from the age of 7 and up.

Why? This is the age the first of your adult teeth have erupted and subtle problems with the jaw growth or emerging teeth can be detected. 

If problems such as cross bites, under bites, or severe crowding are detected, interceptive treatment can be started to fix these problems. 

For children and adolescents, orthodontics is usually done in either one or two phases. 

If a jaw or tooth eruption problem is detected at a young age, an early phase or treatment is usually done around the ages of 7-9 years old.  

This is usually followed up by a second phase of treatment, once all the baby teeth are lost (around 12-14 years old).

Orthodontic treatment for teenages

If an early phase or treatment is not needed, treatment is usually delivered in one phase beginning around the age or 12-14 years old.

Some bite problems can only be fixed as the child is growing, before they reach the approximate age of 10. 

Therefore, if left too late, jaw surgery can be the only option to correct a bite concern. 

Problems with emerging teeth, if not noticed soon enough, can lead to complicated orthodontic treatment that will sometimes need the help of an oral surgeon. 

Orthodontics for adults

If you are an adult who never had orthodontic treatment or whose teeth have relapsed form from not wearing your retainer, it is never too late to have orthodontic treatment. 

These questions don’t just have to be about your children! Many adults look in the mirror and ask the same questions about themselves.

There are many different options to straighten your teeth, as an adult, that range from traditional metal braces, to clear braces, to Incognito braces to Invisalign®.

Invisalign treatment can straighten your teeth through a series of virtually invisible plastic aligners. 

Incognito braces are a custom designed braces that are fitted to the tongue side of your teeth.  

Invisalign aligners and Incognito are great options for adults who want the convenience and flexibility to straighten their teeth without having to feel self-conscious about how they look.

Why should I see a specialised dentist rather than my family dentist?

Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of extra education beyond dental school to learn this specialised treatment.

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