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For Children & Teens

Orthodontics for Children

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven.

By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.

Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
  • Create more space for crowded teeth
  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
  • Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems

For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.

Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:

  • Early/late loss of baby teeth
  • If your child has a hard 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 come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • Crowded front teeth around age 7 or 8

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

Braces, retainers, and everything else that you want to know about orthodontics!

You've just heard the three words that every teen dreads: “YOU NEED BRACES!”

Braces! What now?

Don't worry! Braces aren't nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past.

How long will I have to wear braces?

The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:

  • Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment, and in some cases, it may be recommended that a patient wait until they are older to receive treatment.
  • What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed in order to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently, so while it may take one patient only 12 months to complete their treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.
  • YOU! — Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!

Braces Your Way!

Our practice offers a variety of braces, types and styles, to choose from. Some common options include:

  • Ceramic braces
  • Invisible braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Traditional metal braces

What can I eat while wearing braces?

You've probably heard from your parents, friends, and even your orthodontist, the long list of foods and beverages that you should avoid while wearing braces and while it may seem like you're giving up a lot, it is important to avoid eating certain foods. We also want you to enjoy your braces experience, so here's a quick list of foods to avoid and foods that you can eat while wearing braces.

Foods to avoid while wearing braces:

  • Chewy foods - bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods - popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods - caramel candies, chewing gum
  • Hard foods - nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into - corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Foods you CAN eat while wearing braces:

  • Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk based drinks
  • Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o nuts
  • Grains - pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry - soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood - tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables - mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits - applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats - ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people your age. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today's braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule your next orthodontic checkup.

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