Orthodontics for Adolescents
Adolescence is the most common timing for orthodontics. There are several good reasons for this though occasionally even earlier intervention is called for (see Orthodontics for Children). Generally speaking by adolescence all baby teeth have been lost and the permanent ones have come in. Most children this age are experiencing growth spurts. An orthodontist can use this rapid growth to assist in the process of correcting the bites. Any periodontal issues (gum inflammation and/or bone loss) are typically insignificant.
Misaligned teeth may contriubute to improper cleaning and cause functional problems as your child grows older, including gum disease, cavities, chewing, and speech disorders. This is also the age where many kids and teens develop a heightened awareness of themselves, their appearance, and their relationships with friends. Building self-confidence and balancing individuality with “fitting in” often takes up a large part of your teen’s life during this period of time. A smile is an integral part of our identity and a beautiful smile creates confidence in ourselves.
Why Orthodontics as a Teen?
Orthodontic problems don't improve with age, they simply become harder to treat. It's easier to treat many orthodontic problems during adolescence because the body is still growing rapidly at this time. In late adolescence and adulthood, when face and jaw growth are near complete, many conditions become more difficult (and costly) to treat and surgical correction becomes the only option.