Orthodontic care is an important part of good dental health
Our Madison area orthodontists at First Choice Dental are getting the word out to patients that October is National Orthodontic Health Month. First Choice Dental orthodontists want to remind orthodontic patients, that, for some, orthodontic care is an important contributor to good dental health and overall mouth function as it helps to straighten teeth and align jaws.
According to Dr. Sarah Santos, an orthodontist with First Choice Dental Group, "it's really never too early or too late to evaluate your need for orthodontic care." She says, "The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see the orthodontist for the first time no later than age seven. By this age, we can detect subtle problems with jaw growth or emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present."
Dr. Sarah Santos explains, "Your First Choice Dental orthodontist may find that your child's bite and development is fine, or simply recommend monitoring a developing orthodontic problem. In some cases, certain problems may benefit from early intervention or a first phase of treatment before going to full braces. We can often work in conjunction with a child's growth and development to guide jaws and teeth into proper position as the patient grows as well."
Never Too Young, but It's Never Too Late To "Straighten Up", Either!
While orthodontic care is common among children and teens, it's becoming more common for adults. Many adults will seek orthodontic care for issues that have troubled them for some time, and then finally decide, "Enough waiting. It's my turn to take care of my smile and my health!"
Dr. Sarah Santos said, "One in five orthodontic patients is an adult. Later in life, some choose to seek orthodontic care for cosmetic issues, but often times it improves the mouth and jaws function as well. In fact, my oldest patient right now is 72 years old!"
Invisalign Provides a Clear Alternative to Braces
Whether you are an adult seeking care or a parent scheduling a consultation for your child, you will find that the appliances used to straighten teeth have changed over the years, and are much more attractive than they used to be. Invisalign is a popular option, which involves clear aligners instead of traditional wire and brackets. Dr. Santos also notes, "Today braces are less noticeable - even traditional braces are smaller and sleeker and some patients have other options including tooth colored braces, braces that go behind the teeth, or clear, removable aligners that nudge the teeth into position. Your orthodontist will work with you to decide which option is best for you personally."
Santos notes that cost can be an important factor in deciding to pursue orthodontic care. She says, "In most cases, an initial consultation at First Choice Dental Orthodontics is free of charge. At this point, your orthodontist may recommend further examination to decide the best plan of care, or may suggest simply monitoring the mouth as it continues to grow and develop." She adds, "Most offices offer payment plans to help you, or your dental insurer may provide some coverage. It's important to check with your insurance provider and your orthodontist's office."
"Ultimately," says Santos, "taking care of your mouth, through straightening your teeth and aligning your jaws, will be an investment that has a long-term positive impact on your dental health and your smile."