Orthondontic treatments are dental procedures that help to straighten teeth, correct problems with how teeth bite together, guide facial development, and encourage healthy jaw growth.
There is no set age to visit your dentist for an orthodontic evaluation. If you have concerns for yourself or your child, you can arrange for an orthodontic evaluation at any age. Some issues that led to crooked teeth arise from problems in early childhood, so it is never too early.
On the other hand, it is never too late either – there are orthodontic solutions for the teenage years, and also for adults.
Your orthodontist or dentist (with training in orthodontics) will be able to identify the issues and problems affecting you or your child, and will be able to advice you on the best time to start treatment if required.
You might need orthodontic treatment for:
- Crooked, rotated or crowded teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Teeth not meeting together correctly
- Teeth growing in the wrong area of the gums
- Missing teeth
- Extra teeth
- Difficulty with speaking or eating
At Aperture Dental Practice, we look beyond straight teeth to ensure you also achieve a good looking face.
What to look out for at each age:
As early as 4 years old
Evaluation as early as 4 years old is recommended to assess children’s developing teeth and jaws, as this is the best time to manage bad habits such as finger/thumb sucking, incorrect jaw posturing, and look out for tongue ties.
Another habit that can have a detrimental effect on teeth, jaw and facial development, is habitual mouth breathing.
During your child’s consultation, we may ask questions about snoring, swallowing issues, hyperactivity, ear infections, and chronic nasal congestion.
Other issues we look out for are congenitally missing teeth, or teeth growing in the wrong direction. Sometimes, X-rays may be needed to assess these problems.
7 to 12 years old
This is the age when a child’s jaws are at their maximum growth phase. We can take advantage of their natural growth processes to treat, or even prevent, teeth alignment and bad bite issues.
This can shorten treatment time, reduce the need for extraction of permanent teeth, encourage better facial development, and lead to best results.
This is done using orthodontic appliances to optimise jaw development, which then naturally creates space for future adult teeth to grow into the correct position and avoid over-crowding.
12 to 17 years
At this age, most of our permament/adult teeth have erupted.
Braces is generally the primary option for treatment of alignment or bite issues.
Most of the jaw growth potential has ceased, but corrections can be done for teeth relationship to achieve that beautiful, straight smile.
It is increasingly common for adults to seek orthodontic treatment to improve their smile. Teeth are not rigidly stuck in our gums, but can in fact be moved at any age. This may happen at a slower rate in adults as compared to children, but it is entirely possible, so speak to your dentist or orthodontist!