After the eyes, the smile is the most noticeable feature of the human face. Well-aligned teeth and jaws have an extremely positive effect on overall physical and psychological health. Everyone wants a dazzling smile, but with so many products and quick-fix promises on the market, what’s the best way to achieve the smile of your dreams? For nearly five million people, the answer is orthodontic treatment. The goal of treatment is to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile and a lifetime of improved dental health. Here are Dr. Lohner’s answers to some questions about orthodontic care:
• How do I know if my child needs braces?
It’s not always easy to tell if your child has an orthodontic problem, so the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends all children see an orthodontist no later than age 7 for a simple checkup. This exam can identify potential problems and ensure that any future treatment is timed appropriately. Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who correct improperly aligned teeth and jaws. They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school.
Some signs that may indicate the need for an orthodontic examination are early or late loss of baby teeth; difficulty in chewing or biting; mouth breathing; thumb or finger sucking; crowded, misplaced or blocked out teeth; jaws that shift or make sounds; biting the cheek or roof of the mouth; teeth that meet abnormally or not at all; and jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face. If parents observe these problems in their child, regardless of age, they should consult an orthodontist.
• How old is too old for braces?
Healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. Currently one in five orthodontic patients is an adult – and many are over age 50. Given technological advances and the affordability of treatment, orthodontic patients can enjoy comfortable and simplified treatment. Adults appreciate today’s next-to-invisible treatment options.
• What is the difference between braces and veneers?
Braces are used to align teeth and correct the bite. Veneers do not straighten teeth or correct underlying orthodontic problems. But, veneers can be placed after orthodontic treatment to correct misshapen or discolored teeth.
Find more information on dental health and orthodontic care on our website www.skylandsmiles.com.