We offer a wide range of orthodontic treatments for children right through to adults. Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with treating misaligned teeth and jaws.
The reasons for having orthodontic treatment are as varied as the treatment options available today. For many people appearance is the main motivating factor for seeking orthodontic treatment. Maybe you don’t like how far your teeth stick out, or conversely maybe you don’t like the way they tip back. Perhaps one tooth looks twisted, or overlaps its opposing tooth the wrong way round. All of these problems and more can be corrected with orthodontic treatment, but the benefits of orthodontic treatment go way beyond looks.
Crooked or crowded teeth can cause uneven wear of tooth surfaces or jaw problems that may lead to complications later in life. They can also be difficult to clean properly, which makes them more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
Orthodontic treatment has come to signify braces in most people’s minds. Traditional metal braces continue to evolve and still have a large part to play in orthodontic treatment today. But, their appearance makes them impractical for some people’s occupation or lifestyle. For these people clear/ceramic braces or clear sequential plastic aligners are an alternative that maybe appropriate for them. Orthodontic problems in children can often be treated with fixed or removable orthodontic appliances that differ from traditional braces. To find out more about what types of problems can be fixed with orthodontic treatment, and what alternatives are available for straightening teeth, read on.
At what age can you have orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic problems are often apparent by the age of seven, when the first of the adult front teeth and molars have erupted. Early examination allows us to detect and evaluate problems and plan appropriate treatment.
The main benefits of early treatment are that it can help prevent more serious problems from developing and/or make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases we may be able to achieve results that are not possible once the face and jaws have stopped growing.
However, the basic principles involved in moving teeth can be applied at any age. So, although the treatment process may differ, orthodontic treatment is still very successful for adults as well as children.
Why have treatment?
If you have noticed any of the problems in the following list, then you may benefit from orthodontic treatment. Parents, if you have noticed any of the following in your child then consider them warning signs that your child should have an orthodontic examination:
Crowding – this may present as crowded, misplaced or blocked out teeth. Conversely, some patients have significant gaps between their teeth.
Asymmetry – particularly when the centre lines of the upper and lower front teeth do not match, or where the centre lines of the teeth do not match the centre line of the face.
A deep bite – when your upper teeth cover the lower teeth too much.
A reverse bite – when your upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth.
An open bite – when your front teeth remain apart when your back teeth meet.
Impacted teeth – in some patients, secondary teeth come through in the wrong position or do not erupt at all.