Saving teeth and better chewing abilities are prime reasons for orthodontics. The two go hand in hand, because crooked teeth and bad bites are often forerunners of gum disease. The resulting change in facial appearance after treatment is a happy side effect in most instances. Striking personality changes have been noted in people when their chin no longer recedes behind buck teeth, or their jaw no longer thrusts out!

When To Visit Your Orthodontist: 
A child’s first orthodontic examination should be at age seven, according to a recommendation by the American Association of Orthodontists. This age is when the permanent front teeth are coming in and is usually when the first signs of problems appear. 

If the front teeth don’t have room, they can crowd the rest of the teeth. Making room for these teeth may eliminate the need to extract permanent teeth later. 

Also, teeth that protrude or stick out will be subject to injury if left untreated very long, not to mention the ridicule from the child’s peers that comes with having “buck” teeth. 

Usually, crowded or protruding front teeth are a sign of an underlying growth problem in the jaws. This condition can sometimes be best treated in two phases to get a better result. Habits such as finger or thumb sucking can also be eliminated at this time to prevent the damage from getting worse. 

By the time a child becomes a young teenager, 90 percent of the facial growth has been completed. Thus, the influence that the orthodontist may have on the overall quality of the correction may be reduced if treatment is delayed until age 12.

The Evaluation: 
The initial visit provides the orthodontist with the opportunity to evaluate the patient’s health and to provide the opportunity to inquire about anything relative to treatment. in determining the optimum time for treatment, the orthodontist will give consideration to such factors as the greatest effectiveness in moving misaligned teeth, the minimum time required and the least expense for the patient. The orthodontist knows what to look for based on their training and experience, and the patient should not rely on their own judgment or that of friends. 

Types of Braces 
Stainless Steel, Gold or Clear Braces All Work The Same! 

The following pictures show the most common orthodontic appliances 

STAINLESS (Metal) BRACES 
The most popular type of braces.Most patients request COLORED ties.At each appointment you may have your colors changed. You can look forward to making a fashion statement after each visit. 

CERAMIC (Clear) BRACES 

…are less noticeable braces. Ceramic braces are made of a high tech glass-like material developed as a spinoff material by the NASA space program. A clear or tooth colored tie is used with ceramic braces. Most family and friends will not even notice your braces. Ceramic braces are guaranteed not to stain by the manufacturer. However, some foods, liquids (coffee, coke) or smoking may stain the cement that holds the braces to your teeth. 

GOLD BRACES 
…are similar to stainless steel braces with the exception of being gold-plated. Many patients want to make the ultimate fashion statement. There are also gold wires available for this type of orthodontic appliance.