Who is a Good Candidate for Braces?

Would your child benefit from braces? Do you think it’s too early to tell if your child needs braces? Better yet, do you think it’s too late for you to start orthodontic treatment? The answer is that many people of all ages would benefit from orthodontic treatment. This is because getting braces doesn’t just cosmetically change the way your teeth look, but treatment can also improve your oral health, and in some instances change your lifestyle, facial structure, help improve certain health conditions, while even making it easier to brush and floss your teeth. 

How Do I Know If Braces Are Needed?

You’ll need to see an orthodontist first or get referred by your general dentist. Fortunately, our orthodontist can help you evaluate the need for braces in Melbourne, FL. Here are some of the indications that it might be time for a consultation:

  • Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth. Also, adult teeth coming in late
  • Teeth that don’t meet properly or have gaps, or teeth that are crowded, misplaced, or blocked
  • Extra teeth
  • An overbite or underbite
  • Irregular jawline or jaw out of proportion to teeth
  • Jaw shifting 
  • TMJ soreness
  • Excessive cheek biting
  • Difficulty with chewing
  • Mouth breathing
  • Finger sucking

Even if a few of these are present, it doesn’t necessarily mean that braces are required or that they’re required right now. The only way to know for sure is to meet with an expert for a consultation. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a consultation by age 7.

Are Braces Painful?

They don’t need to be. Dr. Reddick will sit with you in a relaxed atmosphere and explain the difference between your child’s teeth and the ideal teeth for their age. He will discuss treatment needs and options.  If treatment is recommended the treatment coordinator will discuss financial aspects and insurance details. Second opinions are always welcome. Often there are several meetings before you and the doctor decide if it’s time to take action.

If and when you decide to move forward, it usually takes a few weeks to gather diagnostic records and study them to formulate an ideal treatment plan. Installing the braces is a surprisingly easy and painless experience. There is normally some soreness for a few days after the braces are placed, but it usually takes hours to start.  Most people are quite well adapted after a week. You’ll feel a few changes to your mouth, but nothing extremely painful or alarming. After that, there are follow-up sessions and possible adjustments every six to eight weeks.

What Orthodontic Treatment Plan Will Be Best For Me?

There are several options for orthodontic treatment, and Dr. Reddick will help you choose the one that’s right for your child. These include: 

  • Traditional braces use metal brackets on each of the teeth with wires running through them. Today’s braces are smaller than those you may have seen in the past, and they don’t exert as much pressure on the teeth. The wires are held by elastic bands which can be silver like the wires or come in a variety of fun colors.
  • Clear ceramic braces are similar but less noticeable, as the brackets are barely visible. Treatment plans are usually the same whether traditional or clear braces are chosen.
  • Invisalign is the ultimate in inconspicuous orthodontic treatment. A custom-made set of clear, nearly invisible aligners fit over the teeth. They can be removed for eating, brushing, flossing, and photographs. Dr. Reddick will decide how often to switch out Invisalign aligners depending on your specific treatment plan.
  • Certain appliances, retainers, and other devices, are sometimes necessary to correct issues with an overbite, underbite a jaw alignment.
  • Surgical orthodontics is occasionally needed to correct structural jaw issues. It is often just one of the options in cases where other methods might correct the bite but only surgery will improve the facial profile.

The Right Age To Consider Braces

It’s never too late to improve your bite and your smile. Braces can make life better for small children, teens, and adults. In fact, close to one-quarter of Dr. Reddick’s practice involves adult orthodontic patients. He has expertise working with the additional issues adults can bring because of wear and tear, crowns, bridges, and implants. He will work in coordination with your dentist to create the ideal treatment plan. 

Braces have changed vastly within the past decade and we want you to be informed on all the options you have available to you if you schedule a consultation with Melbourne Orthodontics in Melbourne, FL. Contact us online or call us today (321.254.5232) to get started!