Dental braces are steadily becoming popular not only to young patients but significant number of adults too. There are about 3 million American and Canadian teenagers with braces while adults opting for orthodontic treatment are steadily rising. By visiting your dentist in Houston regularly, you will know in time if you or your children will need orthodontic treatment.
Who are good candidates for braces?
Pre-screening for braces must be age 7 and below, according The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). This serves as a preventative measure. By closely monitoring these young patients, orthodontists can inform the parents regarding orthodontic treatments in the future. On the other hand, adults who want orthodontic treatments can ask their dentist or Houston cosmetic dentist anytime. Having braces is not age dependent so there is no such thing as too old for braces.
During your first consultation, the orthodontist will have a visual examination of your facial structure and teeth alignment. For further evaluation, the orthodontist may require more information and request for teeth and mouth x-rays, models and photographs before coming up with a treatment plan for the patient.
The importance of braces
Braces are used to treat misaligned teeth. When there is crowding, spaces to be filled, over-bite or under-bite that needs to be corrected, braces are recommended. Teeth misalignment is called malocclusion. According to Dr. Edward Angle, the one who developed the Angles Classification Method with first molars as reference points, there are three types of misalignment:
Class I considers the alignment between the upper and lower teeth. This deals with crowding of teeth or spacing concerns.
Class II commonly known as over bite where the maxilla or upper jaw is protruding forward. The lower first molar in this case is positioned posterior.
Class III refers to under bite where the mandible or lower jaw protrudes forward. The lower first molar under this classification is positioned anterior.
There are many reasons why crowding occurs. Either you lost your primary teeth too early or too late, teeth are misaligned or the jaw bone is too small and size of the teeth are not proportionate. Spacing, on the other hand, can happen in relation to size of teeth and jaw. The teeth may be too small, hence, the gap, like Madonna’s front teeth as a classic example.
Having braces to correct misaligned teeth and jaw is more than just for aesthetic enhancement. More than having straight teeth, braces may be beneficial for those who have speech concerns, TMJ pain, difficulty in chewing, sleep apnea, clenching and grinding of teeth and even treat tooth and gum diseases.