The Magic Number 7
Orthodontic care is something you can receive at any point in time, but particular timeframes can make certain treatments last longer than others, and it has to do with the magic number 7.
When a child turns 7, their molars will begin to erupt, which affects the positioning of their remaining teeth. With the first sign of molars, an orthodontist will perform an evaluation to ensure the teeth are growing and developing at an anticipated rate. Even if there are no signs of malocclusion (i.e. poor bite position), an orthodontist should still conduct an examination to gain an understanding of the teeth and their alignment as well as remain proactive about the condition of your oral health in the future.
How Do You Know When You Need Braces?
During an oral examination, if there are signs of malocclusion — whether that includes crowded teeth, a poor bite position or something else entirely — an orthodontist may recommend braces as a treatment option. The earlier an orthodontist can identify dental issues, the more effective treatment with braces will be. The age of 7 is a crucial point for the teeth because it will give an orthodontist a clear indication of whether further treatment is needed.
The Importance of Preventative Care
A child’s teeth and jaws are developing along with the rest of their body, therefore putting them in a better position to respond positively to braces. Adults benefit from braces as well, but treatment usually takes longer due to the fully-developed jaw’s resistance to movement.
When dental issues are addressed as a child, an orthodontist can design an effective treatment plan targeting both the projected growth and development of the teeth. An orthodontist can examine the relationship between the front, back, and side teeth and determine how they should come together into a healthier position.
By targeting dental issues early, treatment can correct:
- Crowded teeth
- Facial asymmetry
- Dental trauma
- Gaps in between teeth
- Unhealthy bite positions
Additionally, early intervention can determine whether certain teeth need to be extracted as well as predict the outcome of orthodontic treatment.
Your Appearance and Health are Interrelated
Adequate dental health is more than just creating straighter and therefore more attractive teeth; it’s about producing a healthier bite position that will continue to benefit you as you get older. Teeth that are poorly aligned or crowded are harder to clean, which leaves more room for bacteria and tooth decay to emerge. An unhealthy bite position can also impact the ability to chew and speak, and even create discomfort throughout the jaw, leading to TMJ dysfunction.
Additionally, many patients feel self-conscious about their smiles and suffer from psychological distress due to the alignment of their teeth. Orthodontic treatment can make the teeth healthier as well as improve quality of life, with the most effective results occurring when intervention happens by age 7.
If you would like more information about the services we provide, or to schedule a dental examination, contact Central Florida Smiles at either the Longwood (407-862-1870) or Lake Mary (407-805-0068) location today.