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When Is the Right Time?

December 6th, 2012

Crooked teeth and a dysfunctional bite can be a problem at any age.  But when can these problems be treated and what’s the best way to treat them?
Well the answer is that orthodontics can be done at almost any age.  As with many medical procedures, the age range for braces has expanded to include the very young 5-6 year olds with severe problems to the 40-70 year olds with periodontal problems resulting from crooked or overlapped teeth.
With young children, it’s generally best to watch their development from an early age.  Your general dentist or pediatric dentist will usually do this.  Treatment may begin as early as age 6 or 7 for severe cases.  This allows the orthodontist to guide growth and development and often results in a finished case without removing any permanent teeth.  For some children with very narrow facial features and narrow arches, recent studies have linked their facial structure to sleep apnea and breathing problems that can, in turn, lead to learning disabilities, attention deficit behaviors, and even bed wetting.
For adults, anytime can be considered for treatment.  Its never too late to reap the benefits of a good bite and a beautiful smile.  Newer treatment modalities allow for rapid correction of just the front teeth for esthetic improvement.  These cases may be completed in as little as 6 months and often use computer modeling for placement of brackets and wires.

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