Dr Geri Hunter answers your questions about orthodontics and the care you'll receive at Portsmouth Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics.
» When Should Treatment Start?
If your jaws are not aligned right, or are too big or too small, your orthodontist may start treatment while the jaws are growing. Intervention most often occurs between ages 8-11 and takes about a year. Afterward, your orthodontist will see you regularly for several years to check your adult teeth as they come in.
If your adult teeth are not properly aligned when they come in (ages 11-13), they may need to be straightened. Most children who have Phase I treatment also need additional alignment. This process may take 12-24 months depending upon the complexity of the problem.
» What Are The Benefits Of Orthodontic Treatment?
* The benefits of orthodontics can last a lifetime.
* You'll have a nicer smile.
* With better looks, you may have more self-confidence.
* Your teeth will be easier to take care of and you will be less likely to have tooth decay, gum disease or jaw problems.
* Your teeth will be less likely to chip or break.
» What Is Involved In Treatment?
During treatment, you'll most likely wear braces that include thin wires, bands and elastics. All of these put press on your jaws and teeth to guide them into the right place. Treatment typically takes between 12-24 months on average.
We also ask our patients to take extra care with respect to oral hygiene as braces do make it a bit more challenging to keep things clean. Flossing and a fluoride rinse nightly are very important.
Many of our patients are also patients of Portsmouth Pediatric Dentistry which helps as they will also keep track of your child's oral hygiene.
Treatment doesn't work overnight. But most people who have orthodontic treatment think the results are worth it.
» What Are Diagnostic Records?
Diagnostic records include x-rays, photographs, and impressions made of the teeth. These "molds" are used to develop models for closer examination of the teeth and how the upper and lower teeth relate to each other. X-rays are taken to look at the root structure of the teeth and how the jaw bones and teeth relate to each other. Typically facial photographs and intra-oral photographs are taken to evaluate facial proportions, facial aesthetics and the health of the teeth and gums. These diagnostic records collectively enable the orthodontist to develop an appropriate treatment plan for the patient.
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