New Perspectives on Braces Miller
For many years orthodontics has encouraged the early adoption of braces. This idea was that the earlier we treat the problem the better. And that early use of braces meant we had more time to enjoy their benefits. If had braces as teenagers, then we had straight teeth by the time we were adults. At the time, this seemed conclusive.
For the past few years, this idea of early orthodontic treatment has been questioned. In terms of effectiveness, the early adoption of braces usually offers no advantage. It is well known that adults of almost any age can benefit from braces. What is now being questioned is whether slightly later use of braces, perhaps at 20 or 21, is preferable to having braces as a mid-teenager. It seems that in at least some cases, with some individuals, this later treatment is an advantage.
Early Use of Braces Miller
There are some advantages to having braces in our teens that apply in most, but not all cases.
- Straightened teeth are easier to clean. Crooked teeth can be cleaned just as effectivity, though it required more effort and perhaps some different techniques.
- A condition like overjet, if treated early, reduces the risk of incisor trauma.
- Children with crooked teeth may suffer low self-esteem and bullying. Correcting this at an early age can help a child’s mental development.
- There may be more plasticity in a teenager than in an adult. In other words, we might be more successful making changes as the child is developing rather than after the individual becomes fully grown, and after everything has settled into place. This plasticity is still uncertain.
- Some misaligned jaws of teeth may cause ongoing wear on teeth. This is permanent damage. The sooner this is corrected the better.
- The idea that we prevent problems before they become serious is valid, but it varies greatly between individual cases.
Teenager must have all their permanent teeth, except for the wisdom teeth, before they can have braces. Wisdom teeth come later, between 19 and the mid-twenties. Ideally, there should be enough room in the mouth for these wisdom teeth.
Later use of Braces Miller
Some jaw alignment problems, crossbite, and lower jaw on an angle may be better treated after the jaw has fully developed and all the teeth have emerged. This may mean the patient is 19 to 20 years old.
Realignment of teeth that cause crossbite is a fairly standard treatment done with braces. This is often done in the mid to late teens. Realignment of a jaw that causes crossbite may be better treated at a slightly later age, the late teens or early twenties.
Grace Dental believe we should have the best teeth possible. Often, we can do more to correct a smile than the patient might expect. Usually, this is best done as early as possible; teenagers with braces will have their best possible teeth by the time they are young adults. But in a few cases, treatment is best delayed until the patient is already a young adult. In either case, we are looking at obtaining the best results for the individual.
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