When you hear the term “orthodontics,” what’s the first image that comes to mind? Is it a picture of a gawky teen in awkward metal braces? If so, you’re not alone! Improvements in modern orthodontics have made this an outdated stereotype, but it’s still an incredibly persistent one! Thanks to this idea of what orthodontics looks like, it can often come as a surprise to learn that orthodontic treatment can actually be beneficial for children, teens, and adults. Here at Brady & Ford Orthodontics, we believe everyone deserves a healthy, beautiful smile. We’re proud to provide only the highest quality orthodontic care to patients of all ages in Winnetka and the surrounding communities.
Knowing that orthodontics is for everybody opens up a world of possibility. Are you curious about what we have to offer your young child? Could your teen benefit from braces? Have you considered Invisalign treatment as an adult? To learn more about what our office has for every age range, keep reading below!
Orthodontics for children
Although there’s no minimum age for a child to have their first orthodontic visit, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children have an initial orthodontic evaluation by the time they’re around seven years old. By this stage in a child’s development, they should have a good mix of primary and permanent teeth. When a child is seen in time to initiate early treatment, we’re often able to diagnose and correct orthodontic issues before they become severe enough to require more invasive treatment. This is also referred to as interceptive treatment, and it gives us the chance to:
- correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw so that their permanent teeth are able to erupt in better alignment
- regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- create more space for crowded teeth
- correct bad habits like an extended thumb or finger sucking
- help improve some minor speech problems
Appearances can be deceiving, and unless there’s a very obvious issue, it’s difficult for a parent to assess their child’s need for orthodontics by observing their outward appearance alone. Many oral issues are visible only to the trained eye of experienced orthodontists like Dr. Brady and Dr. Ford. When you schedule your child’s first visit with us, one of our doctors will thoroughly assess their teeth and jaws. If there is a need for early treatment, we’ll create a customized plan for your child that will address the specific dental problems they’re dealing with.
Orthodontics for teens
Committing to orthodontic treatment is a big deal! We know that it can feel a little overwhelming for both you and your teen. It’s natural to feel nervous, but treatment options have come along in leaps and bounds in recent years. We have a number of orthodontic options to choose from, with today’s appliances more comfortable and stylish than ever before. This is something our teen patients really appreciate, as you can imagine! Even traditional metal braces come in a variety of styles and materials, with colored elastics available for teens who want to customize their look or add a pop of personality. For those who prefer a more discreet look, we also offer clear braces, as well as the ever-popular Invisalign clear aligner system.
The question we hear from teens the most is “how long will I be in braces?” Unfortunately, there’s no real “one size fits all” answer to that since no two smiles are the same. Every case is unique, and every patient responds to braces or aligners in their own way, so treatment times will vary from patient to patient. That said, we will often be able to give you and your teen an estimate on treatment time during their initial evaluation.
Orthodontics for adults
In recent years, more adults than ever before have begun seeking out orthodontic treatment. As a matter of fact, around 25% of current orthodontic patients are over the age of 18. This decision to undergo treatment later in life is likely due to a number of different factors. One of the most compelling reasons for adult orthodontics can be the realization that our oral health is linked to our total body health. Many adult patients also find themselves for the first time in a place where they can afford both the time and financial commitment to straightening their smile. Modern treatment options play a role as well, as we’re now able to offer several subtle but effective ways to straighten adult teeth, like Invisalign and clear braces. This is great for adults who aren’t excited about wearing the more traditional metal braces to get a beautifully aligned and fully functional smile!
Brady & Ford Orthodontics celebrates the unique smile of every patient
Orthodontic treatment can benefit almost anyone with misaligned teeth and jaws, whatever their age! A straighter, healthier smile is not the only thing you’ll gain, either. Properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean with daily brushing and flossing, which helps keep dental problems at bay, and an improved cosmetic appearance can be a real boost to a patient’s self-confidence. And last but not least, all of our treatment options can correct orthodontic issues before they get worse, which can save you a great deal of time, money, and even pain in the future.
Dr. Brady and Dr. Ford know that children, teens, and adults all have different orthodontic needs that will require individualized attention and treatment. They are experienced in working with your own unique smile and specific needs to provide only the most appropriate treatment for your case. Our talented team is committed to giving our patients the best orthodontic experience possible, from start to finish! We work hard to make you feel like family from the moment you walk in our door. If you’d like more information on how orthodontic treatment can benefit you and your family, get in touch with us today. We’ll be happy to schedule a FREE consultation for you, and help you take the first step towards creating beautiful smiles for you and your whole family!