There’s no wrong age to start considering orthodontics. In children, we like to evaluate them as they grow. When Dr. Chris Hill treats your child’s teeth from the time they are a baby through their teen years, he knows early on when a child might need orthodontics. He may even be able to perform a corrective procedure to prevent the need for orthodontics down the line. When permanent teeth begin to appear at age six, Dr. Chris Hill monitors the process to help you decide if the orthodontic treatment makes the most sense with an orthodontic screening. We are also happy to provide orthodontic screenings for adults to help them know what’s involved in straightening their smiles.
Orthodontics for All Ages
Although teen years are the target age for orthodontic treatment, all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Teenagers are the preferred age because they are still growing their permanent teeth in. This means braces can move easier in the jaw with gentle force. This may actually help prevent a more extensive treatment later in life.
Narrow jaws or overbites are also easier to treat in children when they are still developing. Once the growth stops in the teen years, surgery may become the only corrective option. If surgery can be avoided, opt for orthodontic treatment during teen years instead.
Most adults opt for orthodontic treatment in their adult years because they either didn’t receive orthodontics during their teen years or their teeth moved back. Most adults are concerned about the cosmetics of their teeth. In these cases, Six Month Smiles or Invisalign make for great treatments. However, if adults have bite issues like TMJ, they may need neuromuscular orthodontics.
Some patients may only require dental veneers to perfect their smile if they are mostly concerned about cosmetic issues. We can shape the veneers to make your teeth look perfectly straight. They also whiten your teeth and hide any other cosmetic defects you might have.
The Usual Track of Orthodontics in St. Louis
Children benefit the most from orthodontic treatments after their baby teeth have fallen out and their permanent teeth move in. In most cases, the teen years are the golden years for orthodontics. Orthodontics set teens on the right track for straight and functional teeth for their adult years. Treatments for teens take an average of 2 years to complete.
With our large variety of orthodontic methods available today, almost any problem and scenario is easily solvable. Most treatments actually depend on patient compliance. Patients are responsible for changing their aligners, wearing them for a certain number of hours a day, not eating certain foods with metal braces, and visiting us regularly for tightening appointments. Following our exact instructions for orthodontics is the only way to ensure a positive outcome.
We also take dental hygiene seriously during orthodontic treatments. It’s entirely up to the patient to ensure they are brushing their teeth correctly and efficiently to prevent cavities and gum disease. It’s also still important to visit us regularly for dental cleanings so we can remove debris from around your brackets.
In some cases, patients may struggle with their dental hygiene when they use traditional metal braces. We highly recommend Invisalign aligners to overcome dental hygiene problems. Simply remove the aligners, brush and floss your teeth and then pop them back in. Your dental hygiene routine isn’t much different than before you had braces. Although dental hygiene is easier, it’s just as important to wear the aligners for at least 22 hours per day. Responsibility is required for achieving great results with Invisalign.