It’s estimated that over 75% of Americans could benefit from some form of orthodontic care. Orthodontics is not just for kids, but can be very beneficial to adults as well. Aligning your teeth not only makes you look better, but can profoundly improve the health of your mouth.
An orthodontic problem is called a malocclusion which can range from crowded teeth, extra teeth, missing teeth or jaws that are out of alignment resulting in an over or under bite. Most orthodontic problems are inherited, but some can be acquired by accidents and early or late loss of baby teeth. Sucking of the thumb or a pacifier for a prolonged period of time can also cause malocclusions.
Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one’s appearance.
Dr. Bonnevie recommends that every child receive an Orthodontic consultation by age seven. Treatment will vary depending on the age of the child and the severity of the malocclusion. Treatments for adults usually take longer than a child’s treatment because an adult’s facial bones are no longer growing.