When it comes to orthodontics, popular culture has planted a picture in our heads of gawky teens in awkward braces. This image is so prevalent that it still tends to be the first thing we think of when discussing orthodontic treatment, so it can be surprising to learn that it offers a whole lot more than just braces. Not only that, but the benefits of orthodontics aren’t limited to tweens and teens.
Here at Krieger Orthodontics, we believe that children, teens, and adults alike deserve to have a smile that’s beautifully aligned and fully functional. We’re proud to provide quality orthodontic care to patients of all ages in the Carrollton, Plano, and Lewisville areas. Whether you’re looking for information about early treatment for your child, braces for your teen, clear aligners for you as an adult, or any of the above, keep reading our guide to orthodontics for all ages to learn more!
Orthodontics for children
Although there’s no minimum age to begin visits to an orthodontist, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children receive their first orthodontic evaluation by around the age of seven. We agree! At this stage in life, most children will already have a good mix of primary and permanent teeth. This makes it easier for an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Krieger to catch any potential tooth and jaw problems early on, giving us the chance to diagnose and correct these issues before they can become more severe, requiring more serious treatment. If any type of early treatment is indicated, we’ll be able to create a customized plan that addresses the specific dental problems of that patient. This is sometimes referred to as interceptive treatment. Providing this kind of treatment allows us to do things like:
- correct and guide the growth of a child’s jaw, in order to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- create more space for any crowded teeth
- correct harmful oral habits, such as thumb or finger sucking
- help improve minor speech problems
It can be difficult to assess whether or not your child may need orthodontic treatment by simply observing their outward appearance. Many orthodontic issues are only visible to the trained eye of an orthodontist.There are a few things you can look out for in your child that may indicate a visit with the orthodontist is warranted, however, including:
- losing baby teeth much earlier or much later than normal
- having a difficult time biting or chewing food properly
- mouth breathing
- finger or thumb sucking, especially if it is prolonged
- crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- jaws that make popping or other sounds when opening and closing
- teeth that come together abnormally, or don’t come together at all
- jaws and teeth that don’t appear to be proportionate to the rest of the face
- crowded front teeth from around the age of seven or eight
By scheduling an appointment for your child’s first orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be taking the first step towards giving them the best chance for a healthy smile. Krieger Orthodontics is proud to offer a free initial consultation to all patients.
Orthodontics for teens
If you suspect your teen could benefit from orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign, you likely have a number of questions and concerns. You and your teen may both be feeling nervous or unsure about the time, cost, and effort involved. We understand how overwhelming it can be when you’re considering making a commitment to orthodontic treatment, and our team will do all we can to set your minds at ease.Fortunately, there are more treatment options available now than ever before. Today’s metal braces are more subtle and comfortable, and your teen can even choose from a variety of styles, materials, and colors. We also offer more discreet treatments, including clear aligner therapy with Invisalign, clear braces, and lingual braces.For most teens, the biggest question is how long they will need to be in braces. Because every case is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that, but we are often able to estimate the amount of time it will take to treat their teeth. This estimate is generally based on a few key factors.Early treatment — We emphasize getting your child an orthodontic evaluation by seven years old because of the opportunity it gives us to catch potential problems before they have a chance to develop into something more serious. With early treatment, we can monitor the growth of the jaw and teeth, and recommend further orthodontic treatment if necessary. When oral issues are diagnosed and treated in the beginning stages, it can cut down on the total time needed in braces.What needs correcting — Because every patient we see responds to treatment in their own way, these treatment times vary depending on how your teen’s body reacts, and how much work is necessary to correct their oral issues. Each patient reacts to treatment in their own way. Treatment times vary depending on how quickly your teen’s body responds, and how much actual work is needed to correct their issues. What takes one patient only a matter of months to correct may take another patient a year or even longer. The amount of treatment needed to fully correct a problem determines how long the process itself will take. Patient compliance — Teens actually have a major role to play in their own treatment. If they are careful to follow Dr. Krieger’s recommendations and take good care of their braces, as well as maintain an excellent dental hygiene routine, they can help keep their treatment time to a minimum. Compliance is the key to your teen completing their treatment as quickly as possible, so it’s important that parents encourage them to be responsible and reliable with their braces.
Orthodontics for adults
As we age, we begin to better understand how important it is to maintain our oral health, because of all the ways it can impact our overall health. Adults are also often in a place where they can afford both the time and the financial commitment necessary to straighten their smile, and are finally ready to take the plunge towards feeling better about their appearance. Better options are another factor in more adults seeking orthodontic treatment, since there are several discreet but effective ways to straighten adult smiles now available, including clear braces and clear aligner systems like Invisalign.Some of the most common issues we see in adult patients seeking orthodontic treatment are:
- a bad bite, or malocclusion, that is causing the teeth to fit together incorrectly
- the teeth are too crowded, or spaced too far apart
- any abnormal jaw pain
- any abnormal pressure
- a desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
If any of these sound familiar to you, adult orthodontic treatment with Krieger Orthodontics could be for you!
Creating beautiful smiles for patients of all ages with Krieger Orthodontics
No matter the age, orthodontics can be beneficial. When teeth are properly aligned, they’re easier to clean with flossing and brushing, lowering your risk for gum disease and other oral health problems. Orthodontic treatment can give you the kind of smile you’ve always wanted, helping to boost your self-esteem. And perhaps most importantly, untreated dental issues can get worse over time, leading to long-term problems that could end up costing you more time and money in the end.Krieger Orthodontics recognizes the different orthodontic needs of children, teens, and adults, and our skilled staff works to provide the appropriate level of attention and care for each patient based on their age and stages of development. Dr. Krieger and the rest of our dedicated team will ensure that you and your family receive understanding, compassion, and respect from our office. Dr. Krieger believes that every patient should have a smile that’s been designed for their own individual case, taking into account their specific tooth shape and things like the movement of their lips and shape of their face. This highly individualized approach is part of our “smile design” and you can only experience it here at Krieger Orthodontics! If you’re in Carrollton, Plano, Lewisville, and would like more information on what orthodontic treatment has to offer you or your family, get in touch with us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Krieger. We’ve got the perfect smile waiting for you!