Your teeth can move and the alignment of your teeth can change, not only when the permanent teeth appear in childhood, but at any time due to trauma, tooth loss, problems with the jaw and/or hereditary issues. The good news is that Dr. Hartley, a general dentist, offers orthodontic treatment to help correct the alignment of your teeth, regardless of your age.
At what age should children begin orthodontic treatment?
Unless problems in alignment are evident at an earlier age, The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be assessed by their family dentist by age 8, when the jaw is still growing and permanent teeth have begun to come in.
Generally, treatment started early, while the bones of the face and jaw are still growing, tends to achieve better results in less time. “Interceptive” treatment, started by age 7 or 8, can help create more space in the mouth and prevent crowding, guiding the growth of permanent teeth and correcting crossbites.
Will your child be able to participate in sports or play musical instruments with braces?
If your child plays a contact sport, such as hockey or football, it will be necessary to wear a mouthguard. Most children are able, after a short period of adjustment to their braces, to participate in their usual activities.
Why should you consider having my teeth straightened as an adult?
More than a third of orthodontic patients nationwide are adults. While a large number of adults consider orthodontic treatment for purely cosmetic reasons, many choose to have orthodontic treatment to:
- Improve their dental health since straight, evenly spaced teeth are easier to clean and are less prone to decay
- Correct malocclusion (misalignment) of the jaws that makes it difficult to chew or causes headaches, muscle tension and other aches and pains
How do braces work? How long does treatment take?
Your braces consist of brackets which are bonded to your teeth and arch wires that run between the brackets, exerting a gentle and continuous pressure on the teeth, guiding teeth into their proper positions. Elastics may be used as well to help the upper teeth align correctly with the lower teeth.
Woodcreek Dental Care offers speed brackets to reduce the amount of time you need to wear braces. With visits every 6 weeks to ensure the progress of treatment, you can expect to wear speed braces for an average of 24 months.
Are there alternatives to the “metal mouth” look?
Depending on the kind of correction needed, we may be able to fit you with ceramic braces which can be the colour of your teeth. Dr. Hartley and the staff of Woodcreek Dental Care will be happy to discuss the options with you.
What should you do to keep your teeth and gums healthy while wearing braces?
- Brush your teeth after every meal and floss daily.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities from forming.
- Avoid sugary, sticky or chewy foods which can get stuck in your braces and promote bacterial growth.
- Make sure to visit your orthodontist every six months for thorough cleaning and dental exams.
Will you need to wear a retainer?
Once your braces are removed, your teeth will want to move back to their original positions. Wearing a retainer regularly, as instructed by your dentist, will help keep your new smile in place.
For children who experience high anxiety when visiting the dentist, we can provide a number of solutions to help them relax, including sedation dentistry options.