Early (Phase I Treatment)
You probably know that it's never too late to begin orthodontic treatment — but when it comes to your youngster's teeth, did you know that earlier may be better than later? According to the American Association of Orthodontists, kids should have an initial orthodontic screening at age 7.
There are several ways that kids can benefit from seeing an orthodontist at an early age. In most cases, if orthodontic work is needed, we simply monitor your child's growth patterns until we see that it's time for treatment to begin. This gives us an opportunity to get the best results in the most efficient way and to help prevent future problems.
Adolescent (Phase II Treatment)
There's no set timetable for every kid, but generally by the age of 11-13 is the time when we can go to work correcting the problems that cause a bad bite (malocclusion), improper tooth spacing or poor alignment.
Orthodontic problems don't improve with age — they simply become harder to treat. In later years, when the bones of the face and jaw are fully developed, many conditions become more difficult (and costly) to treat. It's easier to treat many orthodontic problems during adolescence because the body is still growing rapidly at this time. We can create an improved appearance and function in a short period of time.
We're seeing more and more adult orthodontic patients these days, and it's not hard to figure out why. Appliances that are barely noticeable have been developed to give adults more discreet choices when it comes to orthodontic treatment. And many adults realize that investing in a smile makeover can have significant benefits, socially and professionally. Straightening teeth can be an important part of that confidence-boosting makeover process.
Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there's no such thing as being too old for braces. Growth and development of the jaws is complete in adults, so changes in actual jaw structure can't be accomplished with orthodontic appliances in the way they can with a growing child.
We will make sure to instruct you on how to retain your new, more beautiful smile so that it continues to make you look and feel great for years to come.
- Schedule your free consultation!
- Review your treatment plan with our team.
- Get scanned in our office and start using your aligners.
- Be on the way to your beautiful and healthy smile!
Types of braces
- Tie-less braces that don't need to be "tightened" and are gentle to the teeth and tissues.
- High-technology, memory-shape wires that quickly move teeth and require fewer adjustments.
- A clinically proven treatment approach that aligns teeth and enhances facial aesthetics - usually without extractions or rapid palatal expanders.
The Damon System employs a unique treatment philosophy that goes beyond straight teeth to create broad beautiful smiles. We take into account each patients’ face profile and other factors, anticipating what patients will look like in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond.
There are many good reasons why time-tested metal braces remain popular because they offer a reliable, effective and economical treatment option. In contrast to the appliances of the past, today's braces are actually smaller, lighter, and more comfortable to wear. If you want a less traditional look, you may be able to choose colorful elastics for the brackets, or other modifications.
Clear ceramic braces are a new variation on the traditional system that provides a far less noticeable method of treatment. They use the same components as traditional braces — except that the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a translucent ceramic material that blends in with the tooth's natural color. This system has become a favorite for adults (including some well-known celebrities) because, unless you look closely, it's hard to notice they're there.
While ceramic braces certainly offer a less conspicuous look, there is still another system that allows fixed braces to be truly invisible. In some situations, special appliances called lingual braces can be placed on the tongue side of the teeth. They work the same way other metal braces do — but even though they're made of metal, they can't be seen, because they're hidden behind the teeth themselves!
A palatal expander can help with a severe crossbite, a condition where the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth , or severe crowding, when the jaw is too small to accommodate all of the permanent teeth.
For a severe crossbite, a palatal expander can gradually and painlessly widen the upper jaw; it's especially effective when the jaw itself hasn't fully developed.
For severe crowding, either palatal expansion or tooth extraction may be recommended to help the adult teeth erupt (emerge from below the gums) properly. Even if braces are required later, the treatment time will likely be shorter and less complicated.
Headgear is often used to correct an excessive overbite. This is done by placing pressure against the upper teeth and jaw, which would hold the teeth in position or help move them into better positions. The severity of the problem determines the length of time headgear needs to be worn.
An orthognathic appliance, or growth appliance, is used to correct discrepancies in the growth patterns of the jaws and/or cleft palate. There are a number of different growth appliances available to correct these problems. Certain appliances are designed to gently encourage the upper palate to expand allowing for more room for the permanent teeth to grow in, while others are designed to correct overbites that occur due to growth problems. Orthognathic (growth) appliances are designed to create more room for incoming permanent teeth, promote a better bite and/or enhance the facial profile. They are sometimes used for less complex cases that do not require orthognathic surgery.
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, talk to your dentist.
One solution to thumb sucking is an appliance called a "fixed palatal crib." This appliance is put on the child's upper teeth by an orthodontist. The crib usually stops the habit of thumb sucking within the first day of use.
Tongue thrusting occurs when the patient presses his or her tongue against the front teeth, usually when swallowing, speaking or resting the tongue. If thrusting is constant, this can cause problems with teeth alignment and must be fixed.
We prefer to correct tongue thrusting by giving patients a tongue thrusting appliance. This appliance, similar to a mouth guard, is usually worn at night. Other times, a more permanent appliance is prescribed and can only be adjusted by our office.
The growth of a person's jaw is a steady process, and sometimes the growth of the upper and lower jaw can occur at different rates, causing a discrepancy in size and function. Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Orthodontic treatment may also be used in conjunction with corrective jaw surgery to align the teeth appropriately. Computerized treatment planning minimizes the treatment time and the recovery period while increasing the overall efficiency of your surgery.
State-of-the-art materials we use, such as titanium plates and miniature screws, provide:
- Reduced post-surgical recovery time