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Many people believe that orthodontic treatment begins when the braces go on the teeth. This is not the case. Thousands of children need early orthodontic care – some even as young as six years old. Early diagnosis and monitoring allows your dentist and orthodontist to take full advantage at a time when your child’s bone structure is easier to shape. If you think the odds of a young child having orthodontic problems are remote, you may wish to consider these facts:

  • Very few people are born with “perfect teeth”.
  • 75% of people have orthodontic problems, which should be treated.
  • 25% of these problems are severe.
  • Orthodontic problems aren’t just limited to protruding teeth or under bites.
  • Often the problems relate to the overall structure of the mouth, face and bite characteristics.
  • Frequently they don’t show up in a smile as crooked or uneven teeth at all.

Therefore, if you feel that your child may need orthodontic treatment, right now is the time that you should seek professional opinion.

However, no-one is too old for orthodontic treatment. In fact, 25% of orthodontic patients are now adults, who undergo orthodontic treatment for many reasons. Some to improve the appearance of their teeth and others to correct bite problems.

Orthodontics has come a long way in the last 20 years and with the use of very light wire, discomfort is now minimal. Also, many adult patients feel far more comfortable in having orthodontic treatment with the advent of clear braces, and some patients may even want to consider the use of lingual braces, i.e. braces on the inside of their teeth which obviously can’t be seen at all.

New techniques and materials have also seen an overall reduction in the required treatment times for orthodontic care. Depending on the severity of the condition most orthodontic treatment can be undertaken within six to twenty-four months regardless of age.

For those that can’t wait that long, some problems can be overcome by using other cosmetic dentistry techniques, i.e. veneers and/or crowns. Although not always the best physiological solution, cosmetic dentistry may be the best suited option for those that need more immediate results.