Orthodontics is the specialty within dentistry devoted to straightening teeth and fixing bite problems. In addition to improving a patient’s appearance, orthodontic treatment can improve their ability to chew and speak normally.
When Should a Child Start Seeing an Orthodontist?
Children should first see an orthodontist in Southwest Side, Chicago, by the time they are 7 years old. By that age, some of their permanent teeth will have grown in, and the orthodontist will be able to spot any developing problems, like crowding or an underbite.
Orthodontic treatment during childhood takes advantage of the child’s growth and comparatively flexible bones to correct problems. For example, a child may have an abnormally narrow upper jaw that is causing their teeth to be crowded. The orthodontist can use an appliance called a palatal expander to widen the child’s jaw and make room for their permanent teeth. An adult with the same problem could need jaw surgery.
What Types of Braces Are Available?
The orthodontist in Southwest Side, Chicago, offers several different types of braces. Metal braces are the oldest type, and they are smaller and less noticeable than they were a generation ago. They are also the most common and popular. Patients can customize their braces with colored elastic ties.
Lingual braces are metal braces that are placed on the backs of the teeth, so they are facing the tongue. They are thus hidden from view, which makes them an attractive option for teenagers and adults.
Clear braces resemble metal braces, but they are made from composite or porcelain that is the same color as the patient’s teeth. They are also more expensive than metal braces.
Clear aligners like Invisalign are removable plastic trays that fit snugly over the patient’s teeth. They have compliance indicators that help the patient keep track of how long they have been wearing them, for the patient needs to wear the aligners for 22 hours every day to get the desired results.
Contact ABC Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics to learn more about the services provided by an orthodontist in Southwest Side, Chicago or visit the website today.