What is the best age to begin orthodontics?
Bentley Orthodontics offers braces and orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages! You may be wondering about orthodontic treatment and timing for braces. In Georgetown braces and orthodontic treatment vary as far as the age and stage of dentition in which they are prescribed. When should your child, or you, start orthodontic treatment? Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Selecting the optimal timing ensures the best result with the least amount of time and expense. Because every patient is unique, at Bentley Orthodontics, we have a very conservative and personalized treatment philosophy. We believe that much of the early treatment seen in children today is unnecessary.
In general, we do not subscribe to the philosophy of starting braces early while many of the baby teeth are still present. This type of treatment is called two-phase orthodontic treatment and involves the patient wearing braces twice. The early 1st round of braces is referred to as Phase 1 and generally lasts 12-18 months. A second, more comprehensive, phase of braces is then required once the remaining permanent teeth have come in. This usually adds another 18-24 months of treatment in braces. Patients get burned out easily and are less compliant because they spend so much more time in treatment.
At Bentley Orthodontics, we strongly believe that wearing braces twice is unnecessary in most cases. We do not routinely prescribe two-phase treatment. Two-phases of treatment not only increases the amount of time your child spends in braces, but will also significantly increase the cost to you. After having more than 35 years of experience enhancing smiles, we believe in and practice the traditional way of treatment and timing in braces. Do it once and do it the right way!
I’ve been told my child needs a palatal expander. Is that really necessary?
We believe that palatal expanders are very overused and not needed in many cases. Palatal expander usage is not new. In fact, they have been around for well over 100 years in various forms. More recently, they have been used as a way to treat airway and breathing issues in children along with other orthodontic problems. This concept is very controversial. Dr. Bentley has done extensive research on the subject and does not believe that the scientific evidence support these claims.
Why should malocclusion (crooked teeth/bad bites) be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusion can result in a variety of problems:
- Crowded teeth are harder to brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
- Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
- Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
- Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech issues.
Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you. The quality of treatment and timing is crucial.
I am an adult. Is it too late to start orthodontic treatment ?
Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. If your gums and bone structure are healthy tooth alignment can be changed at any age. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults. A new smile can begin today!
Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, and abnormal wear of the tooth and enamel.
Good news! The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels. They also decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time, and may allow you to choose from several options. Your options may include metal braces or clear translucent braces.
During the initial exam, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. We provide a detailed treatment plan that includes the time of treatment expected and the approximate cost.
What happens after my braces are removed ?
When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. Your final result depends on your retainers, so you must follow through with the hard work you put in while wearing braces.
There are many different types of retainers. At Bentley Orthodontics, we prefer using clear Essix retainers to help keep your teeth straight. They are comfortable and simple to wear. And with proper usage, they can last many years.
The first 18 months after the removal of your braces is the most crucial time period for wearing retainers consistently. This allows the bone to harden and mature around the teeth in their new positions. At Bentley Orthodontics, we do not ask our patients to wear their retainers full time. We find that simply wearing them to bed each night will result in keeping your teeth aligned nicely and your smile looking great.