When Should Your Child See An Orthodontist?

According to the American Association of Orthodontics the best age for a child to visit an orthodontist is at the age of 7. Although treatment of every case may not be possible at this age, most problems are identified and intercepted. Hence orthodontists recommend screening of all children by the age of 7 to eliminate habit related malocclusions etc. By the age of 7, there should be atleast 4 permanent molars and 4 permanent incisors, failing which it could be a case of crowding, missing or extra teeth present. Although some cases may have to wait till all the permanent teeth have erupted and settled in, interceptive treatment can make the final results faster and better, giving children a few additional years of a great smile while their self image is still developing.


Orthodontic evaluation happens at the age of 7, once the first permanent teeth have started to appear, and the first signs of serious issues like malocclusions, a narrow jaw or protruding teeth are noticed. These conditions are easier to treat between the ages of 7-10 since their jaws are still growing and they will adapt more quickly to corrective devices. Treatment at this age is called phase 1 treatment and they will typically require further treatment when they’re older. Correcting underlying skeletal issues at an early age makes the phase 2 treatment more effective and efficient later on. Phase 2 treatment takes place between the ages of 10-14 ideally, but practically an adult of any age can undergo orthodontic treatment as long as the gums and bone are in a good condition. Phase 2 treatment involves placement of traditional metal/ceramic braces. Phase 2 treatment will last a different amount of time depending on the severity of the case. However most patients are required to wear braces for a minimum of 2 years to receive maximum benefits.


While there have been no reported cases of allergic reactions to stainless steel orthodontic braces, current evidence suggests that an allergic reaction can be traced back to the nickel present in the stainless steel used. Most commonly seen in women with pre-existing allergies to nickel in jewellery. The percentage of nickel in orthodontics varies from 8% in stainless steel to 50% in nickel titanium alloys. Gold was initially used until 1929 when stainless steel was used for the first time, after which cases of allergies have been reported thereby bringing about the possibility of nickel as the allergen. Nickel as an allergen primarily causes contact dermatitis but in the oral cavity is seen to accelerate the rate of root resorption during the course of treatment. Nickel free braces are available in cases with reported allergies. Patients exhibiting an allergy to latex may react to the rubber bands used. Latex free rubber bands are available for such cases.


Although a diet chart is maintained for a child undergoing orthodontic treatment maintaining proper oral hygiene is the key to a successful treatment. Consumption of sweet beverages or sticky food has no significant impact on the treatment as long as good oral health is maintained using efficient oral hygiene practices. Difficulties such as dental caries and plaque arises in areas that are inaccessible to clean and maintain, like interproximal areas, thereby causing changes such as hypertrophy of the interdental area and pathological pockets. The other danger is to the appliance itself wherein consumption of hard, sticky or chewy foods may lead to breakage of the bracket, dislocation of the wire, etc. a preferably soft diet is prescribed.

Food items that are avoided are nuts, popcorn, candy, bubble gum. Few foods that can be consumed when cut up into small pieces are meat, vegetables and fruits. Foods recommended while undergoing treatment are jelly, bananas, vegetables and cheese.


Although this solely depends from case to case, on an average orthodontic treatment lasts for about 2 years. However simpler cases have been treated in as less as 6 months while complex cases can even be as long as 3 years. The degree of severity, age of the patient, maintenance by the patient and patient cooperation all have a role to play in the time duration of the treatment.


Invisalign is one of the latest teeth alignment techniques using transparent resistant thermoplastic aligner trays. It can be applied for mild to moderate teeth irregularity cases, crossbites and mild to moderate cases of spacing. Resin retention buttons are placed to allow the aligners to move the teeth. Each aligner is worn continuously for 2 weeks except for while brushing or eating. Teeth are gradually moved to the desired position. The number of aligners, and consequently the duration of treatment, depends on the complexity of the teeth alignment problem. The treatment lasts on an average, for as long as the conventional treatment lasts (24months).

  1. Does not have any metal component hence making them discreet and almost invisible.
  2. Generally comfortable causing no ulcerations or inflammations in the mucosa
  3. Aligners are removable by the patient
  4. Does not affect oral hygiene as the aligners need to be removed during brushing.
  5. Does not limit food choices because the aligners must be removed during eating.
  6. Better self-esteem during treatment
  7. Requires no adjustments during the appointments hence patient isn't required to visit the dentist as often as the conventional treatment demands.
  8. Treatment is 20% faster than conventional braces.

Kingsley in 1880 stated that there is no limit to the age when movement of teeth may not succeed. Tooth realignment is a more involved process in adults than in children because of bio-mechanical limitations like insufficient bone between the roots, marginal bone loss, bones are harder and no longer growing. One of the primary reasons adults undergo orthodontic treatment is to correct a malocclusion or improper bite. Orthodontists refer to these problems as perio-restorative and focus and functional correction rather than aesthetic correction. Adults undergoing orthodontic treatment experience more root resorption than children, although patient cooperation, maintenance and motivation is higher than in children.

We at Cosmetic Dental Clinic is to ensure we provide the highest quality of dental care to our clients so as to improve the quality of their life thereby ensuring excellent oral health and psychological comfort. We strive to provide highest quality of service thus providing painless quality care to our clients. Maintaining the international standards in sterilization, asepsis and cross infection control are one of the top priorities of our practice.

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