Orthodontics for Children
It's best for children to see an orthodontist by age seven to assess if orthodontic treatment is required at this time. By that age, the first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in allowing for the evaluation of cross-bites, crowding, and other problems. Our office is very conservative about treating young children, and will only recommend early treatment if it will mitigate major problems when they are older. With early treatment, Dr. Speck can help guide the eruption of new teeth and jaw growth. This treatment can also make space for permanent teeth, create facial symmetry through manipulating jaw growth; reduce the possibility of tooth extraction; and reduce overall treatment time in braces. In other words, early treatment can simplify treatment when they are older and have all their permanent teeth.
You can read more about orthodontic problems to watch for in children as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists.
Orthodontics for Adults
More and more adults today are seeking orthodontic treatment to improve their smile. In fact, one in every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over 21. Because the jaws in adults are no longer growing, jaw surgery is required more often than for younger patients. Adults also may have experienced some breakdown or loss of the teeth and the bone that supports the teeth and may require periodontal treatment before, during, and/or after orthodontic treatment. Bone loss can also limit the amount and direction of tooth movement that is advisable.
You can read more about when to seek adult orthodontic treatment as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists.