At Sawgrass Orthodontics, we treat patients of all ages. Whether it’s a child making a first visit or an adult who’s been avoiding the orthodontist’s chair like the plague, solutions are available for a wide variety of problems. Dr. Penny, the team, and I have years of expertise in treating the specific needs of patients young and old. It all starts with our first conversation during the initial consultation. Coming in for a free consultation means we can advise you on your own treatment options, and give your kids a first orthodontic check-in. Even if treatment isn’t needed, this meeting can assure you of your mouth’s health. That peace of mind is worth taking the time for a free, hour-long meeting, don’t you think?

First Visits for Children

Our youngest visitors come in around the ages of seven or eight, just when permanent teeth are really beginning to come in. This is the age that the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first check-in with an orthodontist. That’s because this transitional time is crucial–baby teeth can often give an orthodontist an inclination about how the permanent teeth will develop, and what kind of misalignment might be in store. These teeth also help us to predict any over- or underbite issues (malocclusions) in the future.

All of this information can help guide future treatment plans, which can be extremely effectivefor teeth that are still growing and jaw bones that haven’t fully hardened and finished development. While it’s likely that your child won’t need any treatment at all, it’s still important to take a comprehensive look early on.

Parents should consult with their pediatric dentist regularly, and make sure to look out for some the following behaviors indicative of childhood orthodontic problems:

  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Biting of cheeks
  • Grinding teeth
  • Apparent over- or underbite

Teens

The adolescent years are a prime time for corrective treatment on the permanent teeth. By the age of thirteen, almost everyone has all of their permanent teeth, and a clear orthodontic blueprint has developed. More comprehensively than during childhood, we know just what’s going on in the mouth. This is the reason why you probably first imagine a teenager whenever you think of someone with braces.

This time coincides with heightened social anxieties and self-consciousness, leading many to worry about both their teeth without treatment as well as their teeth with braces on. Uncertainty about what these things will mean for a budding social life can weigh heavily on anyone’s mind, and teens are no exception. For that reason, we often recommend Invisalign.

Invisalign has many great features, but perhaps the most important for teenagers is it’s virtually invisible. You can wear it all day, and nobody will have the slightest idea that it’s there without being told so. Almost magically, your teeth will begin to straighten with no visible support. If it’s a viable solution for the particular situation, teens can get all the benefits of traditional braces without some of the perceived downsides. Pretty great, right? It’s important to remember that Invisalign is only appropriate for mild to moderate cases of common orthodontic challenges. Your orthodontist will be able to determine whether it’s a possible solution for your teeth.

Adults

Dental problems may have only recently become apparent in adult patients, or maybe you’ve just decided that now’s the time to correct that overbite that you’ve always had. Making the decision to visit an orthodontist as an adult can be a difficult one; you might not have visited before because you have a fear of orthodontic work, or the costs might seem prohibitive for a problem that doesn’t feel crucial. You’re not alone in these reservations, which many of our adult patients share. Our patients regularly tell us that the results of orthodontic treatment far outweigh their initial hang-ups about coming in.

Specifically, many adults have worries about tooth extraction. It’s true that this is more necessary for treatment in adults than it is with younger patients, but modern techniques make it increasingly rare. With tools like advanced traditional braces and Invisalign, Sawgrass offers multiple treatment options that steer clear of tooth extraction in many cases. If you’re worried about possible extraction, your orthodontist will be able to tell you if it might be necessary. Even if it turns out that it will be needed to complete effective treatment, you should keep in mind that these kinds of procedures are less painful and invasive than ever before.

As with teenagers, adults are often wary of treating their orthodontic problems with braces. Some just don’t want the added hassle of avoiding certain foods, and others just don’t like them aesthetically. As stated above, Invisalign circumvents these common objections to braces by being removable and invisible. This technology allows adult patients to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, and get that dream smile without the need for traditional metal braces.

You Can, Too

Sawgrass Orthodontics strives to be a space welcoming to patients of all ages. Providing people with healthy smiles that inspire confidence is our bottom line, and we can work towards this no matter your age. If you’d like to get a free consultation for yourself or your child, feel free to call us at 954.514.2111 or visit our appointment request form here.

- Dr. Langford

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