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“Investing in your child’s dental health”

Orthodontic treatment can be provided at any age, even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics. Orthodontists recommend starting the process while the child is still growing. By taking advantage of growth spurts, and specialised appliances we can hope to move the teeth and jaw into a better alignment quicker and the results are likely to be more stable.  

By age 7, most children have a mix of baby (primary) and adult (permanent) teeth. Children may experience dental crowding, too much space between teeth, protruding teeth, extra or missing teeth and sometimes discrepancies in growth of one or both jaws.

Orthodontists are trained to spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. Early detection of orthodontic problems in the early mixed dentition (mostly age seven to nine years) can be highly beneficial. Simple Interceptive orthodontic treatment around this age can treat many of these problems quite easily. It can also significantly reduce and sometimes eliminate need for future orthodontic treatment in the later years.  Successful orthodontic treatment can occur later in life, too, but in general, an earlier start can be beneficial for most patients. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult later on.

Most patients begin orthodontic treatment between ages 8 and 16, but this varies depending on each individual.  Because teenagers are still growing, the teen years are often the optimal time to correct orthodontic problems and achieve excellent results. Treatment is important because crooked or crowded teeth are hard to clean and that may contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, mobility of teeth, pain and sensitivity and in some cases, tooth loss.  Occlusal interferences (problems with the bite) can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue and possible jaw joint problems. Without treatment, problems may become worse.  Orthodontic treatment to correct a problem may prove less costly than the additional dental care that may be required to treat problems that can develop in later years.

There is also the emotional side of an unattractive smile.  When you are not confident in the way you look, your self-esteem suffers.  By leaving teenagers malocclusion untreated, they may go through life feeling self-conscious, hiding their smiles with tight lips or a protective hand.

  | What is Orthodontics and Orthodontist?
| How braces work
| Orthodontics for Children
| Orthodontics for Adults
| Patient Commitment
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1 a Freshford Street
SW18 3 TG

Tel/Fax: 0208 944 5545/1515

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