As you prepare to make decisions about orthodontic treatment, it’s very important to be armed with the facts. Here is a series of questions and answers that can give you insight into the science:

Why are orthodontics important?

Orthodontics can boost a person’s self-image as the teeth, jaws, and lips become properly aligned, but an attractive smile is just one of the benefits. Alleviating or preventing physical health problems is just as important. Without treatment, orthodontic problems may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction, and chewing and digestive difficulties. A “bad bite” can contribute to speech impairments, tooth loss, chipped teeth, and other dental injuries.

When should my child first see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child should get an orthodontic screening no later than age seven. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early, rather than waiting until jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean a patient will avoid surgery or other serious corrections later in life.

Can it be too late for a person to be fitted with braces?

No, it’s never too late because healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontists can improve the smile of practically anyone. In fact, orthodontists regularly treat patients in their 40s, 50s, and older!

Who says braces are just for kids?

Certainly not the estimated 1 million adults in the United States who have chosen orthodontic treatment as the route to better oral health and emotional well-being. Adults are discovering that today’s high-tech materials are light-years away from the “metal mouth” look they may have been familiar with as teenagers. Clear Aligners® and clear or tooth colored bracket options are recent innovations that use sophisticated engineering to ensure less time is spent in braces.

Who needs orthodontics?

No one can deny the importance of a winning smile. It makes a pleasing appearance, promotes self-esteem, and is valuable to social and career success. Creating beautiful smiles is what orthodontics is all about. Today, orthodontic treatment is so convenient and affordable that individuals from childhood through retirement can reap the benefits. Orthodontic treatment is important not only for a great smile and improved self-confidence, but also for better dental health. Braces fit easily into today’s active lifestyles. They’re comfortable, easy to keep clean, and less visible than in the past. New techniques and materials can extend the period between appointments, saving time and expense.

What’s the right age for orthodontic treatment?

The right age can be any age. Early examination allows us to determine when your child should be treated for maximum improvement – in the least amount of time and at the lowest cost. Certain treatment techniques provide significant benefits for patients between 6 to 10 years old. Developmental treatment during these growth stages can achieve results not possible once the face and jawbones have finished growing. Full orthodontic treatment with braces generally starts soon after all the permanent teeth are in place, usually at ages 11 or 12.

The right age for orthodontic treatment is not limited to childhood, though. We can provide orthodontic treatment for adults! It is not too late to get the smile of your dreams.

What about costs?

Cost will vary, of course, depending on the nature of the treatment plan. You may be surprised to discover that orthodontics is less expensive than you thought. Dr. McSurdy offers various finance plans to help meet individual treatment needs. These finance plans could include 0% financing over the approximate course of the treatment period. Of course, it is important to keep in mind the lifetime value that orthodontic treatment provides.