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Who Needs Orthodontic Treatment and When to Get It?

If you’ve ever wondered about the purpose of braces, retainers, or other dental appliances, you’re not alone. Orthodontics is a specialized area of dentistry that focuses on correcting teeth and jaw alignment issues. This article aims to enlighten you about who needs this treatment and when to get it.

What Is Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting dental and facial irregularities, primarily related to the alignment of teeth and jaws. The goal of orthodontic treatment is not only to enhance the appearance of your smile but also to improve your overall oral health and functionality. Orthodontists use various techniques and appliances to achieve proper teeth alignment and a harmonious bite.

Common Orthodontic Issues

  • Malocclusion: Malocclusion refers to improper alignment between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed. This can manifest as overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites.
  • Crowding: Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough space in the dental arch for all the teeth to fit properly. This can lead to overlapping and misaligned teeth.
  • Spacing: Gaps between teeth can occur due to missing teeth or spacing issues.
  • Midline Misalignment: When the center lines of the upper and lower teeth don’t align properly, it’s known as midline misalignment.
  • Protruding Teeth: Protruding upper teeth, often called “buck teeth,” can be both an aesthetic and functional concern.

Orthodontic Treatment Techniques

  • Braces: Traditional braces are metal brackets bonded to the teeth, connected by wires and elastics. These components work together to move the teeth into their desired positions over time gently.
  • Clear Aligners: Clear aligner systems, like Invisalign, use a series of transparent, removable trays to shift teeth gradually. They offer a more discreet treatment option.
  • Functional Appliances: These devices help align the jaws and improve their relationship with each other. They are often used in growing children to address skeletal issues.
  • Retainers: After active orthodontic treatment, retainers maintain the results and prevent teeth from returning to their original positions.

Orthodontic treatment involves several procedures and varies per person based on their unique dental and facial characteristics. As a result, treatment length also differs. These treatments are carried out by professionals offering orthodontics services in your area. The right treatment plan can reward you with a healthy and confident smile.

Who Benefits From Orthodontic Treatment?

1. Anyone With Malocclusion

Malocclusion refers to improper alignment of the teeth when the jaws are closed. This misalignment can result in various issues, including difficulty chewing, speech problems, and oral hygiene challenges. Malocclusion can also lead to dental decay, gum disease, and severe tooth wear over time.

2. Individuals With Dental Problems

Orthodontic treatment is essential for individuals with dental problems such as crowded teeth, gaps between teeth, crossbites, overbites, and underbites. These issues not only affect the smile’s appearance but can also impact how you chew, speak, and maintain oral hygiene.

3. Orthodontic Treatments for Children

Early intervention is key when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic evaluation can begin as early as seven years old. At this age, some of the permanent teeth have emerged, making it possible to detect problems early. Early orthodontic intervention can benefit children suffering from crossbites, crowding, open bites, gummy smiles, or other dental problems.

4. Teenagers

Teenage years are a common time for orthodontic treatment. Most permanent teeth have erupted by this age, providing orthodontists with a clear picture of any alignment issues. Braces or orthodontic appliances can correct misalignments, creating a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing smile.

5. Adults

Orthodontic treatment is not limited to children and teenagers. More adults are seeking orthodontic care to improve their oral health and appearance. Advancements in orthodontic technology have made treatments less conspicuous and more comfortable for adults. Whether addressing long-standing alignment issues or improving dental health, orthodontic treatment can benefit adults.

Professionals trained in trusted facilities like Lake Jeanette Dentistry can provide comprehensive dental care, including orthodontic care. They aim to maintain and improve your oral health, restoring your beautiful smile. Remember to visit your local dentist to monitor and maintain your dental health periodically.

When Should You Seek Orthodontic Treatment?

Early Intervention

It’s often recommended for children to consider orthodontic treatment around the age of 7. This doesn’t mean everyone needs braces at this age, but it’s an ideal time for an orthodontic evaluation. Some permanent teeth have emerged, and the orthodontist can detect potential problems early. Early intervention allows orthodontists to guide the growth and development of the jaw, creating enough space for all permanent teeth to come in properly. This can prevent future issues and lead to a more balanced bite.


Teenage years are a common time for orthodontic treatment. Most permanent teeth have erupted by this age, allowing orthodontists to work with the existing teeth and guide their alignment. Correcting issues like crowded or crooked teeth not only improves appearance but also contributes to better oral health and function.


Contrary to popular belief, orthodontic treatment is not limited to children and teenagers. Adults can benefit greatly from orthodontic care. One in five orthodontic patients is an adult. Orthodontic issues such as misaligned teeth or bite problems can lead to discomfort, difficulty in cleaning teeth, and even contribute to gum disease. Addressing these issues with orthodontic treatment improves oral health and can boost self-confidence.

Beyond Orthodontics

While orthodontics is critical to oral health, comprehensive dental care includes various specialties. Regular visits to the dentist, daily teeth cleaning and brushing, and oral cancer screenings contribute to your overall oral health. These practices help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues.

The Essence of Comprehensive Dental Care

Poor oral health can lead to severe chronic conditions. Hence, maintaining good dental health requires adopting good oral hygiene routines. 

  • Taking Care of Your Teeth Every Day: Just like you wash your hands, taking care of your teeth daily is important. This means brushing your teeth, using floss to clean between them, and using mouthwash. Doing this helps prevent bad things that can hurt your teeth, like cavities and gum problems.
  • Special Cleaning at the Dentist: Sometimes, you need a comprehensive dental cleaning from the dentist. They have special tools to clean parts of your teeth you can’t clean at home. This cleaning helps prevent gum problems, cavities, and other issues, keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
  • Using Pictures to Find Problems: Think of your mouth like a puzzle; the dentist needs all the pieces to see the whole picture. Dental x-rays are like taking pictures of hidden pieces. These pictures help the dentist find problems like holes between your teeth, issues with your bones, and other things that can’t be seen with just your eyes.
  • Stopping Problems Before They Get Big: Taking care of your teeth isn’t just fixing problems when they appear. It’s like stopping little problems from becoming big ones. Waiting until things get really bad can cause problems in your mouth and the rest of your body. Taking care of your teeth means being smart and preventing bad things from happening in the first place.


Orthodontic treatment can improve quality of life by enhancing oral health and self-esteem. Remember, it’s never too late to improve your smile – seek advice from a trained professional offering orthodontics services and embrace the journey to a healthier, brighter smile.

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