The “when” question

At Hunter Family Ortho, we believe children and adults can both benefit from orthodontics because healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. In saying that, since no
two patients are alike, there is not a “set” age when orthodontic treatment should begin.

Orthodontics for children

The simple truth is many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if treated early enough. With children, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends screening children no later than 7 or even earlier if a parent, physician or dentist detects a problem.

With early monitoring of growth and development, young patients may avoid extractions, surgery or more serious complications down the road. The timing of orthodontic treatment is extremely important and greatly affects the treatment result.

Additionally, some of our younger patients may benefit from a 2-phase treatment. In an early phase, Phase I, orthodontic treatment is performed before all permanent teeth have erupted and takes about 12 months to complete. In a later phase, Phase II, when all permanent teeth are present, treatment consists of the correction of various growth patterns or tooth eruption problems. Although Hunter Family Orthodontics makes 2-phase recommendations based on the specific needs of the child, about 20 – 25% of patients require this approach. Most of the patients treated with this approach show signs of skeletal abnormalities—such as crossbites or underbites—or the patient or parents have aesthetic concerns.
It’s important to talk with Dr. Hunter about the risks and benefits of this treatment during your consultation.

Orthodontics for adults

The good news is you’re never too old for braces and the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. No matter your age, orthodontic treatment can be beneficial. In fact, did you know that one out of every five patients is over the age of 21? That’s because, as we get older, we may encounter relapse, loss of teeth and bone, and spacing due to an existing malocclusion. With braces, adults can correct their smiles both for the health of their teeth and the confidence that a great smile provides.