An orthodontist has finally revealed the definitive answer to the age old question which we receive most every day: When is the right time to get orthodontics? He starts with explaining that two orthodontists may have two very different opinions, depending on their diagnosis, and this can result in considerable confusion, the last thing we want when deciding about our children’s health and well being. Luckily, there are some guidelines.
According to this article written by a seasoned, expert orthodontist, there are many times when braces are given prematurely, just to make a quick buck. Braces are quite useless on milk teeth, and one should wait until all or most of the adult teeth have already come in before applying orthodontics. Whether or not the 12 year molars have erupted is also crucial, depending on the treatment. However, time is also a factor, as the longer the teeth are left to their own devices the more severe the problem may become. So sometimes the 12 year molars may be only partially erupted before orthodontics should be applied.
There are circumstances in which the 12 year molars can be left completely out of the picture, for instance if the problem impedes normal functionality, if crowding is so severe as to cause pain when chewing, or if the jaw is so uneven that the child cannot close his/her mouth.
The doctor also gives us some insight as to how long orthodontics should be worn. He says the overwhelming majority of cases are in between 12 and 30 months. A few cases mentioned in which the braces should be worn for longer include severe crowding, arch constriction, etc. The main reasons for extended duration however are usually due to patients not following the treatment plan, and not getting extractions or surgical procedures done in a timely fashion. This is bad, as braces can catch more bacteria and have more crevices, and are thus not that good for the cleanliness of teeth.
So when getting orthodontics, make sure there are no more milk teeth, 12 year molars are erupted, and that you follow the treatment plan as much as possible, to make sure you get the optimal effects in the shortest amount of time.