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Luke Chapman Orthodontics, LLC

 

Orthodontics for Children and Adults

337.363.7666 or 337.896.4880

About Orthodontics

Complimentary Exam

 

Orthodontics for Children


The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. It's best for the orthodontist to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required, and if it is the best time for that patient to be treated. Any crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated at that time. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment. There are many advantages of waiting to initiate treatment until the adolescent years, and most often treatment is started in the teenage years. However, treatment in the early preteen years can be beneficial in certain individuals.


When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, when indicated early treatment can simplify later treatment.


Early Treatment

When is the best time to begin orthodontics?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. For some, it would be an advantage to start early treatment in the preteen years, but most often, it is best to start during adolescence.


What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

 

Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?

By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite, and the adult incisors also erupt. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.

 

What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:


Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
Preserving space for unerupted teeth
Reducing the need for tooth removal
Reducing treatment time with braces


Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics is not merely for improving the esthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth, or feel about your smile.

 

Why should malocclusions be treated?

According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping and traumatic injuries. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthier, happier, more confident you.