There are few dental advancements that are more prized than modern braces. Teeth straightening hardware of our grandparents’ generation had many drawbacks. It typically 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 wasn’t easy.
Some orthodontic patients found their old-school 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 technologically-advanced ceramic braces, clear braces, and Invisalign aligners available today. Even traditional metal braces are now smaller, less conspicuous and more comfortable.
The advancements in orthodontic treatments and reduced treatment times is one reason many adults have chosen to have their teeth corrected if they were unable as an adolescent.
Does that mean you don’t need to have your child seen by an orthodontist if you suspect tooth alignment troubles? Absolutely not! If facial attractiveness and increased self-esteem are not critical reasons to straighten your child’s crooked teeth, consider the fact that crooked teeth and bite misalignment can impact speech development and make it hard for your child to eat a healthy diet. Crowded teeth also make proper brushing challenging, increasing the risk of cavities.
The American Association of Orthodontics counsels parents to have their youngster evaluated by an orthodontist when they are young. It is important to identify issues with teeth and jaw development early. Your orthodontist or pediatric dentist will know the proper age to begin treatment if required.