There are few dental advancements that are more appreciated than modern braces. Teeth straightening hardware of our grandparents’ generation had many drawbacks. It frequently involved a whole orthodontic toolkit—full metal bands, headgear, elastics, spacers, and wires poking every which way. If you played an instrument that required the use of your mouth, well, it was a challenge.
Some orthodontic patients found their traditional braces uncomfortable, bulky, and downright ugly. They also created many hidden nooks and crannies for bacteria to quietly drill into your enamel.
If you are too young to remember old school braces, you can’t truly appreciate the cutting-edge ceramic braces, clear braces, and Invisalign aligners available today. Even standard metal braces are now smaller, less noticeable and more comfortable.
The advancements in orthodontic treatments and shortened treatment times is one reason many adults have chosen to have their teeth straightened if they were unable as a youth.
Does that mean you don’t need to have your son or daughter seen by a children’s orthodontist if you suspect tooth alignment issues? Absolutely not! If facial attractiveness and increased self-esteem are not important reasons to straighten your child’s crooked teeth, consider the fact that crooked teeth and bite misalignment can influence speech development and make it hard for your child to eat a healthy diet. Crowded teeth also make proper brushing difficult, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
The American Association of Orthodontics counsels parents to have their youngsters evaluated by an orthodontist when they are young. It is critical to identify issues with teeth and jaw development early. Your orthodontist or pediatric dentist will know the proper age to begin treatment if necessary.