Paddington Teeth Straightening
Orthodontic treatment (braces and Invisalign) are directed toward improving dental and oral health as well as creating an attractive smile, proper bite, and aligned jaws.
What is the right age?
A healthy bite is important at all ages. Even adults can benefit from the improvements that come from orthodontic treatment; age is not a consideration. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. However, treatment in children and teenagers who are still growing will yield better results than in adults, as their face and jaw are still growing.
Orthodontics for Children
Children with finger or thumb sucking habits can cause protrusion of the upper incisor teeth, hence requiring orthodontic treatment. Children’s teeth erupting out of position can also be guided to proper alignment using orthodontic treatment. Most orthodontic treatment begins between ages 9 and 14. However, by age 7, problems with jaw growth or emerging teeth can be identified. This is significant since many orthodontic problems are more easily and appropriately treated at an early age. While teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem only an orthodontist may detect. If a problem is identified, immediate treatment may not be indicated. Often, mild problems are monitored on a six month or annual basis until more growth occurs. In some cases, early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing, making treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Typically, early treatment involves the use of orthodontic appliances to guide jaw and tooth development, creating a better environment for adult teeth as they emerge. In fact, some cases cannot achieve the same result once the face and jaws are more mature.
Orthodontics for Teens
Most patients begin orthodontic treatment between ages 9 and 16; however, this varies depending on the individual. Because adolescents are still growing, this is often the optimal time to correct orthodontic problems and achieve excellent results. Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Examples of these genetic problems are crowding, excess space between teeth, protruding upper teeth, extra or missing teeth, and jaw growth problems. Other orthodontic problems are acquired over time. They can be caused by thumb-sucking or finger-sucking as a child, mouth breathing, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, poor dental hygiene, the early or late loss of baby (primary) teeth, accidents, poor nutrition, or medical conditions. Treatment is important because crooked or crowded teeth can be more difficult to clean, which may contribute to cavities and gum disease. An improper bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue, and possible jaw joint problems. Without treatment, problems may become worse. Orthodontic treatment to correct a problem may prove less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the same problem in later years. The emotional side of an unattractive smile can affect children in the formative years. When children are not confident about the way they look, self-esteem can suffer. Teenagers with orthodontic problems left untreated may go through life feeling self-conscious, hiding their teeth and their smile.
Orthodontics for Adults
Orthodontic forces move the teeth in the same way for both adults and children. Complicating factors, such as lack of jaw growth, may create different treatment planning needs for adults. With advances in technology, orthodontic treatment is faster and more comfortable, and braces are less noticeable than in the past. Depending on the patient, small metal braces, clear braces, lingual (behind the teeth) braces, or Invisalign can be used. Whether you are in your twenties or sixties, the health and the appearance of your teeth are important. Orthodontic treatment is one of the best investments you can make in yourself.
We provide FREE consultation (15 minutes with Dr Henry Ho) to see whether orthodontic treatment is suitable for you.
Types of Braces
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces. More comfortable today than in the past, metal braces are made of high-grade stainless steel and, together with arch wires, straighten teeth. With metal braces, you have the option of adding coloured elastics for a more colourful smile.
Invisible (Clear) Orthodontic Appliances – Invisalign
Invisalign use a series of clear aligners to straighten teeth. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to adjust to during treatment. Since the aligners are removable, they also do not affect eating and do not require additional time for brushing and flossing.
Invisalign treatment consists of a series of nearly invisible, removable aligners that you change every two weeks for the next set of aligners. Each aligner is individually manufactured for your teeth, and your teeth only. As you replace each aligner, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the final position.