Orthodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on the alignment of the teeth. The field of orthodontics utilizes braces, expanders, and other removable appliances in order to correct the alignment of the teeth. This specialized field of dentistry can also correct the bite (how the teeth fit together), correct jaw issues, and even correct the appearance of protruding teeth.
Why do teens need orthodontic treatment?
Once your child reaches the age of 11 or 12, the majority of the final permanent teeth except wisdom teeth would have erupted. In such cases, it is possible for an orthodontist to evaluate the alignment of the teeth correctly and identify any misalignment issues, malocclusion, crooked teeth, or teeth gaps. At this age, since the bones of the jaw and face are also still developing, it is possible to influence their size and shape more effortlessly than those of an adult. Hence, teenage or adolescence is considered the best time to undergo orthodontic treatment and have a beautiful smile.
What are some signs that a teen needs orthodontic treatment?
Braces can help correct the alignment of your teen’s teeth. They can also fix bite problems, including overbites, underbites, and crooked teeth.
Here are some of the most common signs that your teen might need braces:
- Back teeth are crowded together or crooked
- Front teeth are crooked or protruding
- Jaws are misaligned, with teeth that meet unevenly
- Jaws shift when your child eats or talks
- Teeth protrude, often due to thumb sucking
Benefits of orthodontic treatment for teens
- Crooked teeth can make it more difficult to chew properly. This can lead to poor digestion and a lower intake of nutrients. If your teeth are not properly aligned, your jaws may not fit properly, leading to headaches, jaw pain, and TMJ disorders.
- Poorly aligned teeth can also be more noticeable than straight teeth. This may happen even if teeth are straight but crowded, have gaps, or stick out. This can negatively affect a teen’s self-esteem and cause them to feel self-conscious about their smile.
- Braces not only straighten teeth but also alter your bite. This will be more comfortable for you and help prevent future problems like TMJ disorders and jaw pain.
Orthodontic treatment options
There are several potential treatment options for orthodontic problems in teens, including Invisalign aligners, braces, and palatal expanders.
- Braces are the most common option for teens because they work more quickly and more effectively than other options. Braces use brackets connected to the teeth with wires and bands to gradually adjust the spacing and alignment of the teeth.
- Invisalign aligners fit over the teeth and provide a near-invisible solution to orthodontic problems. Invisalign aligners are also removable, allowing patients to take them out to eat, brush, and floss.
- The last option is palatal expanders. These appliances are orthodontic appliances that expand the palate or the roof of the mouth. This way, teeth can be better aligned once braces are used to correct bite problems.
Call 34th Street Dental Care at 708-484-6576 to schedule your consultation with our dentists to learn more about our dental treatments.