The majority of our patients are children and teenagers. Typically, we begin to see children as young as seven. Early assessments enable our orthodontists to determine if your child will require orthodontic treatment once all their adult teeth have erupted. If we believe they will benefit from orthodontics, we can anticipate the optimum time to begin treatment which will deliver the best results.
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment which ensures the best result with the least amount of time and expense. The Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommend the initial orthodontic evaluation occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems at the most appropriate time.
At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary. However, regular examinations allow our orthodontists to anticipate the most advantageous time to begin future treatment.
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems from occurring later. When orthodontic intervention is not yet necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
Are you faced with having to wear braces as a teenager? We know this isn’t ideal but the end results will be worth it, trust us! Braces might be a hassle but you’ll only have to wear them for a year or two and then you’ll have a perfect, healthy smile for the rest of your life (provided you follow your orthodontist’s instructions about your retainer!).
iSmile offers a wide range of brace options for teenagers. We have the most popular metal braces which can be personalised with funky coloured brackets. If you’re self-conscious, we also offer ceramic braces but these are more brittle so you’d need to be extra careful. We can fit lingual braces which are placed behind the teeth but these are more difficult to clean and more expensive so few teenagers choose these. There is also Invisalign which offers barely visible retainer plates. However, speak to your orthodontist about your viability for this treatment because Invisalign cannot be used for significant orthodontic work.
The most common brace choice for teenagers throughout Australia and worldwide continues to be the traditional metal style. In recent years the design has been improved to make them smaller, less noticeable and more comfortable so orthodontic treatment is better than ever before.
Many teens worry about their braces affecting the way they speak, what they can eat and generally their lifestyles. It’s not true! Within a couple of days your mouth will be used to your new braces and you will be speaking normally. Admittedly, your diet does need to adjust slightly but you can still enjoy most foods and even awkward food like apples can be eaten if you cut them up. Playing sports isn’t a problem as long as you get an orthodontic mouth guard.
And remember, you won’t be alone. So many people get braces these days that you’ll actually be the majority in your classroom. It’s also becoming popular amongst adults but the earlier you get them, the better because your teeth will settle more securely into their new, correct positions.