When Braces?

Two-Phase Treatment for Children

In about 25% of our younger patients, there is a benefit to treating with orthodontic appliances twice. Phase One is usually a shorter session beginning when the patient is about eight years old and Phase Two finishes the case when the patient is an adolescent. The goal is to time the active treatment with the child’s growth spurts to correct posterior cross-bites, excessive crowding or excessive spacing. This could include gently expanding the palate with a special retainer so the arch becomes bigger for the larger adult teeth or putting brackets on to line up the new front teeth. For these patients, two-phase therapy achieves a superior result over just having braces as an adolescent. If your dentist indicates to you that your child will probably need braces, don’t wait until they are teenagers.

Adolescent Treatment

Dr. Foley monitors young children every six to twelve months in his complementary recall program, and will advise you if your child would be best served by starting the braces early.

Most orthodontic patients get their braces between the ages of 11 and 15. By this time, the orthodontist can see whether there will be crooked teeth, gaps between the teeth or bad alignment of the jaws. They can use the growth spurts and increased metabolisms found in young adolescents to their advantage. The teeth move into their proper positions a little bit easier for teens than for adult patients. And socially, this is a great age for braces because so many teens have them and accept them as normal. For some teens, we can offer Invisalign® Teen.

Adult Treatment

About 25% of our patients are adults and that percentage is growing every year.  Video “It’s Never Too Late” from AAO. There are many reasons for adult orthodontics and if any of these apply to you, please come in for a complimentary examination with Dr. Foley to discuss your concerns. Our adult patients tell us they want orthodontic treatment because they:

  • Finally want to have crooked teeth straightened for a confident smile
  • Realize crowded teeth contribute to gum disease and tooth decay
  • Need teeth to be aligned before proceeding with cosmetic dentistry
  • Have TMJ troubles (pain near ear or clicking when chewing) or chronic headaches
  • Have teeth which are wearing down in an uneven or rapid fashion
  • Need to prepare a widened space for an implant and a crown

Depending upon the complexity of your case, there are many cosmetic options available to you, including small metal brackets, translucent brackets and transparent aligners. Nowadays, orthodontic therapy requires fewer appointments and is much more comfortable than it was twenty years ago.

According to a Match.com survey, the “big three” criteria by which singles judge a date are grammar, confidence, and teeth!

The good news is it is never too late to enhance your smile and achieve excellent oral health. During your initial examination, we can discuss the best treatment plan for you, the probable treatment duration and the approximate cost.