When Is the Right Time to Start Orthodontic Care?


All kinds of patients turn to orthodontic care when it comes to fixing unsightly curved, jagged, or missing teeth that can affect a person’s ability to speak, chew, and smile. These types of issues can affect people of all different ages, including children at a very young age. But some parents might not know when it’s the right time to start their kids on orthodontic care. Find out why and when parents with young kids and other patients might want to start getting orthodontic care.


Reasons to Start Orthodontic Care

If a person has overly crowded, slanted, missing, or overlapping teeth, these problems might extend beyond their personal appearance. They might have trouble chewing certain foods or feel awkward smiling in public. These issues can also affect a person’s ability to speak properly, resulting in awkward slurs or jumbled speech. If these issues are having a detrimental effect on a person’s ability to hold down a job or perform in school, they should strongly consider signing up for orthodontic care. Additionally, a person may develop all kinds of oral health issues if they’re having trouble cleaning and caring for their teeth because they’re crooked or bent.

Even if a person experiences an issue with their teeth that results in few side-effects, ignoring the problem can lead to more serious issues down the line. For example, if a young child has an accident and loses one of their baby teeth too soon, their teeth may grow improperly as the child develops, moving in different directions to make up for the void left by the missing tooth. Parents should treat these issues with some urgency to avoid doing further damage to their child’s teeth.

Starting the Orthodontic Care Process

When a person is ready to start the orthodontic care process, they should find a reputable orthodontist in their area. Children as young as seven years old can sign up for an initial orthodontic exam. Most orthodontists, like Sherway Gardens Dental Centre, offer new and existing patients a complimentary orthodontic consultation. This usually involves taking cephalometric x-rays of the patient’s mouth, so the orthodontist can evaluate the situation and choose the best course of action.

Patients have a lot of options when it comes to choosing the right orthodontic treatment, including traditional metal braces or ceramic braces, removable plastic trays, and Invisalign®, which won’t affect a person’s appearance. The patient should talk to their orthodontist about what kinds of treatment will suit their unique lifestyle.

Two Types of Appliances

The orthodontist will provide different treatment options or appliances based on the patient’s age. Children and prepubescent youths will be better off with a removable, functional appliance. Children around the ages of 11 and 12 tend to see their bodies changing when they’re going through puberty. Having a removable appliance gives the child’s jaw and teeth more room to grow during this period. The appliance is also functional so the child can easily remove the appliance if it impairs their ability to eat, speak, or participate in a physical activity.

The orthodontist will usually recommend fixed brackets for adults and post-pubescent patients. These tend to be the most effective method for straightening a person’s teeth. Older children and adults have their teeth fixed in a certain spot, so they don’t have to worry about leaving extra room for new teeth. The brackets are installed in the person’s mouth during a simple procedure. The patient can leave the brackets where they are until it’s time to have them removed. If the patient prefers a more flexible treatment option, they should talk to their orthodontist about what’s right for them.

Those looking for an orthodontist in Etobicoke, ON should contact Sherway Gardens Dental Centre to setup a free initial consultation.

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