The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that initial orthodontic screenings for children start around the age of seven. By the age of seven, most kids have a few permanent teeth. At this time, an evaluation can be given by an orthodontist on if any orthodontic treatment will need to occur in the short or long term future. By evaluating permanent teeth when children are still young, it allows for tracking development and issue identification before any problems become more complicated. The staff at Capitol Smiles Dental can give specific guidance based on the dental maturity for each child.
No, you are not too old for braces! 20 to 25 percent of orthodontic patients are over the age of 21— orthodontic treatment and braces are not just for children and teenagers. It is never too late to straighten teeth, bites, or fix any other dental issues. The orthodontists at Community Smiles can help determine the best type of braces for adult patients to build them a beautiful new smile.
It is vital to wear a retainer after having braces to keep teeth straight and prevent shifting. Braces will straighten your teeth while wearing them, but after removal teeth are still not set in place until your bones, gums, and muscles adapt. Bones, gums, and muscles are constantly changing throughout your life, meaning that teeth can shift long after braces are removed. To ensure you will not need braces again, consistently wear retainers, even years after braces are removed. Consult your dentist if your retainers get lost or no longer fit for the best actions moving forward.
If your braces break, remain calm and call Community Smiles Dental as soon as possible. Over the phone, the orthodontist can provide short term fixes to help with any discomfort and schedule a repair appointment. Brackets becoming detached, wires breaking, or wires protruding can happen at any time and are common occurrences. If a bracket becomes detached from the tooth, make sure to not swallow it or play with it with your tongue. Try to hold the bracket in place with the dental wax provided, if possible. If a wire becomes bent or broken try to cover the sharp end with dental wax.
Appointments to both the dentist and orthodontist regularly are a significant part of maintaining healthy teeth while having braces. Orthodontist appointments are usually every four to eight weeks, depending on what stage of adjustment you are at with your braces. At these appointments, braces will be adjusted and tightened to make sure your progress is on track. As for the general dentists, consistent visits every six months is more important than ever. Food can get lodged in places that your toothbrush can't reach, which could potentially lead to bacteria-causing plaque, cavities, and gum disease.