Orthodontic treatment is at an all-time high in the U.S., according to data from the American Association of Orthodontists, and not just among teens and preteens. About a third of all orthodontic patients are adults, a clear demonstration of how more people are recognizing the lifelong benefits of braces and other orthodontic treatments from a Glendale orthodontist.
Whether you’re considering orthodontic care for yourself or for your child, you probably have some questions. At Dunn Orthodontics, we want all our patients to feel confident in their care, every step of the way. Here’s what you should know about the orthodontic services we provide for our Glendale, AZ, patients.
Who needs orthodontic treatment?
Braces and other orthodontics can be ideal for anyone who has crooked or poorly aligned teeth and wants to improve the way their smile looks. Having a beautiful, healthy-looking smile can work wonders for your confidence and self-esteem, and it can also help you make a great impression on others.
But that’s just one reason to have orthodontic treatment like braces or aligners. Because straight teeth are easier to clean with regular brushing and flossing, your care routine just might be a lot more effective in getting rid of sticky plaque and decay-causing bacteria. And that means you could substantially reduce your risks of tooth decay, gum disease and even tooth loss. Plus, when your teeth are properly aligned, your bite pattern is normalized, and that can cut down on uneven tooth wear and jaw strain, decreasing your chances of developing a painful, chronic condition called temporomandibular disorder or TMJ.
Of course, the best way to know if orthodontic treatment could help you improve your smile and your oral health is to schedule an office visit. During your consultation, our team will perform a series of evaluations to help you learn whether orthodontics is a good choice for you.
What issues can a Glendale orthodontist treat?
Orthodontists are trained to treat a wide array of issues affecting your bite and your smile, including:
- Gaps and other spacing problems
- Crooked teeth
- Poor bite mechanics that interfere with normal function
Today’s braces come in a variety of “options,” including traditional metal, tooth-colored ceramics and clear styles, along with removable aligners like Invisalign. So many options mean today’s orthodontists can provide truly custom care, based on each patient’s unique needs.
Am I too old for braces?
Today, more adults than ever before are turning to braces and aligners to help them get more attractive, healthier smiles. The good news is, while you might think orthodontics is just for teens and preteens, there’s really no “wrong” age for braces. As long as your jaws are healthy enough to support your teeth as they shift positions, there’s a really good chance you’re a candidate for braces. Today, many people have orthodontic treatment in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.
When should my child have their first orthodontist visit?
Ideally, you should take your child for their first visit by the time they’re seven years old — and sooner is better. Why so young? Early visits let your orthodontist evaluate your child’s developing jaws, teeth and bite pattern to spot problems early on. Often, these issues can be addressed with preventive or interventional orthodontics, like spaces or palate expanders. These devices help guide emerging teeth into their proper positions or enable the jaw to grow a little wider to accommodate teeth without crowding. With early interventional care, many children who do need braces wind up wearing them for a far shorter time — and some may avoid wearing braces entirely. Even if your child doesn’t need interventional care, having a consultation visit while they’re still very young helps your orthodontist (and you!) plan for their future care.
How will orthodontic care affect my lifestyle?
There was a time when having orthodontic treatment meant dealing with a mouthful of large, cumbersome, uncomfortable metal brackets. But thankfully, all that’s changed. Today’s braces — even the metal ones — are much smaller, lighter, less noticeable and more comfortable. And advances in orthodontic science have resulted in effective care in less time.
The two areas many patients are most concerned about are eating and caring for their appliances. And again, it’s a lot easier than you probably think. With clear aligners, there’s really no change in either your eating habits or your care routine. That’s because you take your aligners out for meals and for brushing and flossing. With braces, it might take a little time to get used to cleaning around brackets and wires. But the learning curve isn’t steep, and with just a bit of practice, you’ll find that caring for your teeth and your braces is pretty straightforward. Plus, there are special tools like water flossers that can get in between wires and brackets with ease. As for food, there are a few items you’ll need to avoid — primarily foods that are sticky or very crunchy or hard. That’s because these foods can get stuck in brackets or bend or break wires, and avoiding them means you can also avoid a repair trip to our office.
What can I expect during my treatment?
Orthodontic treatment varies from one patient to the next, but in general, our patients visit us about once every eight to ten weeks for checkups. During visits, we’ll check your treatment progress and make any adjustments necessary to keep you on track. Plus, we’ll answer any questions you might have about your course of care. Depending on the type of appliances you have and the issues that are being treated, you can expect to wear your braces or aligners for anywhere from 18 to 36 months (although some patients with aligners can complete their treatment in a bit less time).
Top-rated orthodontist in Glendale, AZ
As a leading orthodontics practice near Glendale, Arizona, Dunn Orthodontics is committed to providing safe, effective, state-of-the-art treatment that’s customized for your needs. If you’d like to learn more about how orthodontics can help improve your smile, call our office at 602-864-0004 and schedule a consultation today.