In recent years, more kids and adults are wearing braces. Research indicates that 70 percent of the population could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Based on fossil findings, our ancestors had little trouble with alignment of their teeth, so what happened to us? As different ethnic and genetic populations began to merge, human growth pattern in the mouth didn’t accommodate teeth and jaw development.
Often, children inherit the need for orthodontic from one or both parents whose teeth didn’t align correctly, just as you inherit eye color or seasonal allergies. These tendencies can be passed down from generation to generation. Consequently, your child’s teeth may be too large or too small for the jaw area, resulting in crowding or extra spaces.
With modern orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist can correct alignment and spacing problems. Generally, it’s a good idea to bring your child in for an orthodontic evaluation around age seven. At this time, the orthodontist can assess your child’s current and future development to determine if any intervention is necessary. Some children require Phase I, or early orthodontic treatment, to prepare their mouths for Phase 2, the straight-forward phase of treatment that usually involves traditional braces.
If you would like a straighter smile, but never made steps to change it, there’s still time. Even adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment. With modern alternatives like Invisalign clear aligners or ceramic braces, you can achieve a picture-perfect smile without the hassle and embarrassment of metal braces.