Orthodontic treatment is about much more than having a beautiful smile. It corrects the jaw position and teeth alignment to create a healthy, functional bite. Your bite affects not only the way you look but also your ability to eat, chew and speak clearly.

Most orthodontic issues are inherited, but some can be acquired over time due to bad habits, such as thumb-sucking, mouth breathing, dental disease, or accidents. A bad bite can often lead to painful jaw issues, higher tooth decay instances, and excessive wearing of teeth. If left untreated, orthodontic problems will usually get worse and become more difficult to correct over time. Some examples of bad bites include:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Overcrowding
  • Gaps
  • Overjet
  • Transposition

Most people think that braces and orthodontic treatments are only for older children or teenagers, but that is not true. The ideal time to start an orthodontic assessment is when your child is seven. Children at this stage have a mix of baby and permanent teeth, and their bones are still growing. A check-up at this time allows the orthodontist to check if a problem already exists or is developing so that they can advise you on any necessary treatments, when they should begin and their estimated length. Very few orthodontic problems will need interceptive treatment at age seven, but there are steps that the orthodontist can take to help your child develop a healthier bite. For example, they can:

  • Guide the growth of permanent teeth so they grow in a better position
  • Create space for permanent teeth by removing baby teeth and using a spacer
  • Use a palatal expander to expand the upper dental arch to create more room for permanent teeth

Early orthodontic work is highly recommended as it can shorten or even save you from future treatments. Keep in mind that there is no “right age” for orthodontic treatment. Ideally, children should have an evaluation by the age of seven, but it’s never too late for a check-up! Timing is individual and is highly dependent on your child’s specific problem.

If your child is at or near their teenage years, they may be considering having braces placed to correct their smile. There are many benefits to braces, such as:

  • Shifting overcrowded, crooked or poorly positioned teeth
  • Improving bite
  • Increasing smile confidence

Today, there are many options for teens to correct their bite, from traditional metal braces to clear plastic aligners. Each product has its pros and cons, and your orthodontist will discuss them to find the right fit for your teen.

Cygnet Dental has been serving the Grande Prairie community for over 20 years. From orthodontics to teeth whitening, our team of dental professionals is here to take care of all your oral health care needs. Call us today to book an appointment!