For All Ages
ORTHODONTICS FOR CHILDREN
The exact age for a child to begin orthodontic treatment will vary depending on the development of each child. However, we recommend following the guidelines of the American Association of Orthodontists which include that children should visit the orthodontist by the age of seven.
At the age of 7, most children have mixed dentitions (some baby teeth and some adult teeth). This stage of dentition will allow Dr. Dunn to identify and treat tooth and jaw problems at a younger age, allowing for less invasive treatments.
EARLY TREATMENT ALLOWS YOUR ORTHODONTIST TO:
- Guide your child’s jaw growth to allow the permanent teeth to erupt properly
- Lead the upper and lower arches into the appropriate width
- Make additional room within the mouth for crowded teeth
- Allow for less invasive treatment options, avoiding permanent extractions
- Correct thumb-sucking habits and improve speech
It is difficult to identify children who need orthodontic treatment without the experience and training of an orthodontist.
WARNING SIGNS THAT YOUR CHILD NEEDS TO SEE AN ORTHODONTIST:
- Premature or delayed loss of baby teeth
- Difficult time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that do not meet properly when the mouth is closed
- Jaws and teeth that are not harmonious to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.
ORTHODONTICS FOR TEENS
In this section, you will get the answers to everything you want to know about orthodontics including braces, retainers, and others.
You came into Dr. Dunn’s office and you’ve been told you need braces!
Braces weren’t in your plans? There’s nothing to worry about, braces do not have to mean a negative experience at all. Braces have improved over time and now come in a wide range of styles, materials, colors, and more. Today’s braces work faster, are more comfortable, and dare I say, stylish!
HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WEAR BRACES?
Your treatment time in braces will depend on three main factors:
- Early treatment or phase one treatment is a technique that allows orthodontists to guide the growth pattern of the jaw and provide additional treatment as it becomes necessary. Not all patients receive early orthodontic treatment not all patients are eligible but those who are benefit tremendously.
- What needs correction — Based on the diagnosis of your cosmetic goals, Dr. Dunn will know how much correction will need to be made. It is important to remember that different individuals will react to treatments in different manners. For example, one patient may achieve the desired results in 12 months while it may take another patient 24 months.
- Your commitment to follow Dr. Dunn’s instructions will have a major effect on the length of your treatment. If you take care of your teeth, avoid the foods that can damage your appliances, and follow all of Dr. Dunn’s recommendations, your treatment will be over before you know it!
BRACES YOUR WAY!
At our practice, you will find lots of different ways to wear your braces including different types, styles, materials, and colors to choose from. Our most popular options include:
- Ceramic braces
- Removable aligners
- Lingual braces
- Traditional metal braces
Orthodontic braces play a big role in the life of many people your age and can even be considered a right of passage. Braces may have been scary or uncomfortable in the past but the truth is that today’s braces are new and improved to make you look and feel your best! Contact our office to get started today.
ORTHODONTICS FOR ADULTS
Orthodontic treatment is not limited to a certain age group adults over the age of 21 are the fastest-growing group to seek orthodontic treatment. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 20% of orthodontic patients are 21 or older. Adults are understanding that it is important to maintain their health and feel better about the look of their smiles. Today, there are more treatment options available for adults and many patients are taking advantage of that to seek treatment that they put off for a long time.
COMMON REASONS WHY ADULTS CONSIDER ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT:
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly causing tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal jaw pain, or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth
- The desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ADULTS
Many adults cringe at the idea of sporting metal braces. If you are one of them, don’t worry, today’s orthodontic treatment options include an array of braces and other appliances that offer you comfort, looks, and can be manufactured to meet your unique needs. The most common types of braces include:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Lingual (behind the tooth) braces
- Removable aligners
- Traditional metal braces
The major difference that stands out between providing treatment for adults vs. children and teens is the stage of development of the jaw. For teens and children, the jawbones are still developing and there is an opportunity to direct growth. In adults, the jawbones are no longer growing to mean that the only way to align the jawbones is through orthognathic surgery. Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — As patients age, they are more likely to suffer from degenerative conditions such as gum recession or bone loss caused by untreated gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients who have straight teeth are less prone to developing gum disease.
- Worn or missing teeth — As time passes, teeth can deteriorate and move into different positions, these issues can only be corrected through orthodontic care. If a tooth goes missing due to trauma or a medically necessary extraction, this can cause the remaining teeth to shift and tilt and create a misaligned bite. This increases the chances of developing gum disease in the future.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — We find that many adults received some orthodontic treatment earlier in life but failed to complete it at that time. As an adult, these patients realize the importance of completing their orthodontic treatment to obtain a healthy and attractive smile.
Dr. Dunn knows that the needs of adults, children, and teens are different. She applies this knowledge to design custom treatment plans that meet the needs of each of her patients. At Dunn Orthodontics, you will find appropriate treatments, empathy, and respect.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean and therefore less likely to develop cavities and gum disease.
- An attractive smile leads to high levels of confidence — Orthodontic treatment will make you feel good from the inside out because you will be healthier while looking your best.
- Oral problems left untreated can get worse — Failing to receive orthodontic treatment promptly can cause problems to worsen, requiring more expensive and invasive treatment in the end.
If you want to learn more about adult orthodontics and what we can do to enhance your smile, schedule a consultation with us today. Our scheduling assistant will work hard to ensure that we find the best time and day to fit your busy schedule.