Over four million people in the United States wear braces at any given point, according to statistics from Humana Dental. While the overwhelming majority of orthodontic patients are children and adolescents, adults are not immune to the need for some form of smile correction and tooth alignment. In fact, approximately 25% of people who wear braces are adults.
Although it is never too late to invest in necessary dental treatment, the orthodontists at Ashburn Pediatric Dental Center in Ashburn, VA recommend that bite and alignment problems be addressed as early as possible, when teeth and bone tissue are still developing, and therefore easier to adjust and shift into the desired alignment.
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in Ashburn, VA
Many people tend to think of braces and orthodontics primarily as a cosmetic procedure, designed exclusively to straighten significantly crooked teeth. But that only tells part of the story. Orthodontic problems like crowding and malocclusions can also affect oral and general health, by making it harder to brush and floss, therefore increasing the risk of gum disease and the ability to properly chew food, and even speak clearly in extreme cases.
And while many children (and adults) might balk at the idea of wearing metallic braces for an extended period of time, the long-term benefits to self-esteem and self-confidence that a straighter, more symmetrical smile can provide will far outweigh the temporary inconvenience of living with orthodontics.
How Do I Know if My Child Needs Braces?
As the primary teeth erupt, a pediatric dentist can determine if and when braces are necessary. Ashburn Pediatric Dental Center advises parents to schedule a child’s first dental appointment by the age of one to monitor development. Although primary (baby) teeth are temporary, they are subject to tooth decay and oral health problems, and should be monitored and cared for like permanent teeth. Regular dental appointments and early attention to oral hygiene at home can help children to develop good lifelong dental habits.
Find an Orthodontist in Ashburn, VA
For more information on the benefits of braces for long term oral health and to find out if your child may need braces, contact Ashburn Pediatric Dental Center by calling (703) 726-4333 to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist today.