Human deciduous teeth, also known as baby teeth, are expected to naturally fall out before the teenage years. Very young kids are rarely good candidates for orthodontics because of the temporary and unsettled nature of their oral anatomy. However, our orthodontist may carefully monitor the development of milk teeth that might cause some complications with permanent teeth. For example, children who have a bad habit of sucking on thumbs are very likely to develop open bites or overbites.
By age 10, some permanent teeth usually erupt in a healthy child. In order to facilitate the eruption of such teeth, some extractions might have to be done to milk teeth. The central and lateral incisors usually come out before cuspids and molars. Once all of the permanent teeth have fully erupted, orthodontic treatment may begin.
In the early teenager years, the severity of a malocclusion can be accurately assessed by our orthodontist. Crowding usually involves the misalignment of the cuspid teeth, which have to be extracted to make way for other adjacent teeth. In some people, the second and third molars fully erupt during the late teenage years. Therefore, such patients may not be advised to begin orthodontic treatment until all of the permanent teeth have fully erupted into their final positions. It’s difficult for orthodontists to manipulate some teeth while others are still erupting at unpredictable angles.
Options in Orthodontics
Traditional braces can still be used to correct just about any type of malocclusion. Metallic brackets are carefully set up on the front surfaces of the teeth. The brackets are linked to arch wires, ligatures, hooks, bands and ties. These small components have to be adjusted regularly in order to create pressure and tension that gradually move teeth into desired positions. A teenager with a moderate form of a malocclusion is typically expected to wear conventional braces for at least two years. A severe malocclusion might be corrected with more years of orthodontic treatment. It all depends on the situation.
Teenagers who have mild malocclusion are the ideal candidates for orthodontics that are less noticeable. Although they’re made from shiny metal, lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth. Bonded to the front surface of teeth, ceramic braces have special finishes that match the natural color of enamel.
Invisible aligners are also very popular among teens and adults who are very conscious about physical appearance. Made from a medical-grade plastic material, these orthodontic devices are essentially transparent. Invisible aligners can be conveniently removed before eating, drinking and brushing. Teens might also remove these mouthpieces before making speeches and presentations in classrooms or other social settings.
The Right Time for You
During a consultation at Runnels Orthodontics in Destin or Panama City Beach, you can have all of your questions regarding orthodontics answered. We proudly serve men, women and their families in the Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Freeport, Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Panama City Beach, Panama City and surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule an orthodontic appointment to learn more!