According to The American Association of Orthodontists, the optimal time for an initial orthodontic evaluation is at the first glimpse of a potential problem and no later than the age of seven. Beginning treatment early yields the highest level of results, takes the smallest amount of time and costs the least amount of money. Even if treatment isn’t necessary yet, early examination can highlight the ideal time for treatment down the road.
Adolescent treatment (ages 11-15) is the normal time for orthodontic treatment in the majority of cases. Most children in this age range have all their permanent teeth, meaning any abnormalities (crooked teeth, bad bites or gaps) can be detected with ease. Orthodontic problems at this age rarely correct themselves, which makes treatment vital. Another reason the adolescent period is ideal for braces is that many children in this age range are undergoing treatment. Children will feel more comfortable with braces because their peers are also wearing braces.
You’re never too old to improve your smile! Unhealthy bone structure and gums can mess up the alignment of your teeth at any age. Undergoing orthodontic treatment later in life can boost your self-esteem and the health of your teeth/gums. Crooked teeth lead to a host of problems (gum and bone loss, tooth decay, TMJ pain, etc.), and you have a number of options (metal braces, translucent braces and transparent aligners) to fix the problems.
On your first visit to our office, you can expect a thorough examination followed by a discussion of possible treatment options. We also might reserve time after the exam for diagnostic records (X-rays, photos and impressions), which are all vital in developing the optimal treatment plan.
Here are some questions you might want to ask on your first visit:
- What condition(s) does orthodontics fix?
- Is treatment necessary right now, or should we wait until more growth has occured?
- Which specific treatment(s) will you employ to correct the existing problem(s)?
- Will you need to remove any permanent teeth?
- How long do these particular treatment options take?
- What is the cost of these treatment options?
- What are the different payment options?
We can answer many of these general questions during your initial visit, but we will need to carefully analyze the diagnostic records before giving you in-depth answers. We believe it’s necessary to carefully look at the specific needs of each patient. A treatment plan tailored to you will lead to better results.
After reviewing your diagnostic records, we will schedule a consultation visit to discuss specific timelines, financials and treatment options. We want you to leave that visit with a clear understanding of the problem, treatment plan and time frames.
What to bring with you:
- Any X-rays taken in the past six months
- Your insurance card, if you have orthodontic insurance.