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Why Braces
Why Braces

Why do I need braces?

Why do I need braces?

Orthodontics (braces) treatment is also suitable for adults. Braces are orthodontic appliances used to correct ‘bad bites’ (malocclusion), or teeth that are crowded, crooked or spaced. These tooth alignment problems may be inherited or could result from injury or tooth loss.
These irregularities, if not treated, may lead to more problems as follows:
  • Tooth decay, tooth loss or gum diseases as misaligned teeth are difficult to clean and maintain.
  • Abnormal wear of tooth surfaces.
  • Excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissues.
  • Misalignment of the jaw joints, resulting in chronic headaches or pain in the face or neck.
  • Lower self-esteem as the facial appearance is affected.
For some individuals with missing teeth, braces are worn to ‘create’ space for subsequent implant or bridge.

Why does my child need braces?

Why does my child need braces?

Abnormal bites usually become noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12. Thus, orthodontic treatment often begins between ages 8 and 14.
For children, they often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper jaw that is growing too much or too narrow can be recognized at an early age. If children over the age of six are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Early treatment can prevent crowding of permanent teeth.
Children see an orthodontist (specialist in braces treatment) as early as age seven to assess their facial and dental development. Although adolescents (11 to 15 years of age) are most responsive to orthodontics treatment, this early examination will alert the dentist to any potential problems. At this point the dentist will evaluate whether your child will need orthodontic treatment. This may be divided into two phases:
  • Phase One:
    This typically begins at around eight years of age while the jaws are growing. This is known as growth modification and treatment takes about 1 year. Certain types of appliances are used to correct and re-align the teeth and jaw.
  • Phase Two:
    The goal is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks and tongue. The second phase begins when all permanent teeth, usually between ages 11 to 13, have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 18 to 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure your child retains his or her beautiful smile.
In summary, if your child has any of the following, he may need early orthodontic treatment:
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Continue sucking his or her thumb after age five
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that do not come together in a normal manner or even at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth (cross bites)
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
What's Next
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