What’s The Best Age For Braces?

A question parents frequently ask is “When should my child get braces?”
Often the answer isn’t that simple.
2 equally qualified orthodontists will likely give you a different answer. To complicate matters more, they may differ on their treatment plans as well.
So why this disparity?
And what should you do?
While there is no ‘perfect age’ for braces, there are some factors to help determine when your child is an ideal candidate for them.

Orthodontic Screening
The first thing you should do is book an evaluation with your orthodontist. Orthodontists specialize in diagnosing and correcting problems with the teeth and face, and will be able to assess whether your child needs braces.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children should be evaluated by the time they’re age 7. However, some circumstances may require earlier intervention, such as:
• Excessive overcrowding of teeth
• Open bites: when the upper and lower front teeth fail to meet
• Overbites: when the upper teeth protrude past the lower teeth
• Underbites: when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth
• Crossbites: when the upper and lower jaw fail to line up

Phase 1 & Phase 2 Treatment
The phase 1 treatment (also known as early intervention treatment) starts before all the permanent teeth have grown out (often when the child is 6 to 10 years old). This treatment is usually recommended to make more space for developing teeth and correct oral problems, such as overbites and cross bites. Phase 1 treatment often involves limited dental hardware, such as expanders and partial braces.
Phase 2 treatment (also known as comprehensive treatment) begins when the child is older (age 11 to 13) and when all their permanent teeth have grown in. This treatment usually involves full braces.
Whether your child will need phase 1 or 2 treatments will depend on the state of their teeth and if the orthodontist feels earlier intervention is required.

Why early examinations are beneficial
Having your children examined earlier (before age 7) has numerous benefits, including:
• Long-term treatment can be properly determined
• Oral problems can be identified earlier
• Teeth can be more easily guided for braces, reducing the time they have to be worn
Talk to your orthodontist and together you can come up with the best treatment plan for your child. Braces not only help straighten teeth, they also enhance your child’s self confidence by improving their smile.
At Downtown Dental Associates, our orthodontists are qualified and experienced to help you determine when your child is ready for braces. Contact our office today for more information.

Happy Movember!

It’s that time of the year again, when the clocks have been turned, the leaves have fallen, and we are slowly bracing ourselves for winter. But November is also a very important month because thanks to the very successful Movember Foundation, we now have a whole month dedicated to men’s health issues.

So what is the story behind those creative (and at times scary!) mustaches? The purpose of Movember is to bring attention to men’s health. Gender is the strongest predictor of health, with women generally living 6 years longer than men. In addition, men suffer from gender-related diseases such as prostate and testicular cancer as well as they are more prone to suffering from depression and other mental health problems.
Despite all the available research on the gender-based inequality in health, not enough attention is paid to the issue by health care providers or policy makers. This is why the Movember Foundation exists.

When it comes to oral health, there are also differences between men and women. According to American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal (gum) disease prevalence is higher in men (56.4%) than in women (38.4%). In addition, research has shown that men with indicators of periodontal disease including swollen gums as well as prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) show increased levels of Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) than those men with only one of those conditions. There is also a plethora of evidence linking periodontal disease with cardiovascular disease. This is not surprising as both diseases are considered chronic inflammatory diseases and inflammation is believed to be the cause of both conditions. And since men are more likely to develop heart disease than women, maintaining good oral health is a great way to reduce the risk.
So before you decide on the style of the mustache you are going to sport this month, take a moment to think when was your last dental check-up and when was your last visit to the hygienist? It would be great to be able to show off a beautiful and healthy smile as well as your support for men’s health this month.

Happy Movember!

From your Mo Sista, Dr. M