Smile, it’s 2017!

By Timothy Johnson

By Dr. Tim Johnson

What is one of the first things you notice when you meet someone? Their clothes? Their hair? Their smile? According to the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), no matter how you dress or wear your hair, there’s one fashion accessory that’s always in style – a healthy, beautiful smile.

When you and/or your child look in the mirror and ask, “Do I like my smile?” and the answer is “No,” then orthodontic treatment may be your answer to a future involving a beautiful smile, increased confidence and improved self-esteem. Lots of people turn to orthodontic treatment as a means of achieving the confident smile they dream of. Teeth that are properly aligned help promote a healthy smile for a lifetime. It’s important to know that orthodontic treatment is about more than just appearances. Straight teeth not only look good, they also give you a good bite. Your upper and lower teeth fit together the way they should, so it’s easier to bite, chew and speak.

It is a common misconception that braces are only for children and teenagers, but anyone, regardless of age, can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Whether it is catching oral alignment problems early, or correcting a long-standing bite problem that did not get addressed in younger years, there are a lot of treatment options available. Common orthodontics problems include: cross bite issues, small palate and unfavorable developmental issues. With early intervention, orthodontics can assess, plan for a shorter course of therapy and promote oral health.

The AAO recommends that children receive a comprehensive orthodontic evaluation by the time they are 7 years old. Your child will continue to be monitored as they grow. If a problem is evident, taking action early can spare a lot of treatment and expense in the future. Although every child needs to be assessed on a case by case basis, generally an ideal time for placement of braces is between 10 and 14 years of age, while the head and mouth are still growing and teeth are more accessible to straightening. However, patients with orthodontic problems can benefit from treatment at any age including adulthood.

Early orthodontic measures include guiding the growth and development of the jaw bone, lowering the risk of trauma if the child has protruding front teeth, improving the child’s appearance and self-esteem, providing a guide so that the permanent teeth can move into a more favorable position and helping to correct harmful habits like tongue thrusting or thumb-sucking, and much more.

For adults, misalignment can lead to increased plaque which may promote gum disease. In some cases, this can exacerbate other conditions related to TMJ/TMD pain, headaches or chronic facial discomfort.

Everyone wants a great smile! Dr. Johnson, will make your smile the best it can be. A great smile can make an impact- at school, at work and in life! Schedule a consult  today.

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