A variety of tooth and jaw issues can be resolved through orthodontics. Dr. Jiwon Gwak and Dr. Kela Ness may point out that your child's baby teeth appear crowded, or the relationship between the upper lower teeth isn't ideal. While it’s not generally a time for treatment, it may help you prepare for the possibility of future corrective care. As permanent teeth start to appear, usually around age 6, Dr. Jiwon Gwak and Dr. Kela Ness monitor the process further and helps you decide if early orthodontic treatment makes sense.
Although many orthodontic wearers are teenagers, braces play a role for some children in their earlier years. Since permanent teeth are typically larger than baby teeth, space may need to be opened with the gentle force of braces or a device called a palatal expander. This allows adult teeth to move into place correctly, helping avoid more extensive treatment later.
A narrow jaw or a large overbite may create a similar dilemma. Gently guiding your child’s jaw growth while they are developing can make a tremendous difference down the road. Once the growth stops during teen years, the only corrective measure often involves surgery which is always a scenario to avoid when possible.
The Usual Track
Many youngsters benefit from orthodontics after the baby teeth have fallen out and the permanent teeth have moved into place. This classic case may start in the early teen years, leaving a nicely aligned and highly functional set of teeth as your teen enters adulthood. The length of time spent wired-up can vary, but average treatment time often falls around two years.
Orthodontic treatment can solve almost every possible bite issue, but success relies on good patient compliance. Wearing elastic bands consistently, keeping follow-up appointments for adjustments, and practicing outstanding home care can lead to a positive outcome. This commitment involves frequent preventive visits with your hygienist as well, a strategy that helps avoid permanent staining from weakened enamel and cavities around brackets. Snohomish Family Dentistry specializes in helping our orthodontic patients enjoy a successful outcome: a gorgeous, healthy smile.