When most people hear “orthodontics,” they think of braces. But there is much more to orthodontics than just braces. Our office can treat bite misalignments, crooked teeth, and accomplish tooth movement in many ways on children, adolescents, and even adults. There are some more complex or atypical cases that may require treatment in a specialist’s office, but many cases can be completed here by our own doctors, ranging from interceptive appliances, habit appliances, full brackets and braces, buttons and elastics, and clear retainer tooth movement.
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Phase one and two of orthodontic treatment:
Many times misalignment between the jaws can be recognized early in children and can be treated while the jaws are growing, usually between age 7 to 10. At this time, an interceptive appliance to correct jaw growth would be considered phase one of orthodontic treatment. Sometimes, this interceptive phase can eliminate the need for phase two, which would typically involve braces once the child reaches their teens. Phase one aligns the jaws, while phase two straightens teeth.
Many adults think they have missed their opportunity to straighten their teeth, but this isn’t true! While once the jaws have stopped growing, it is no longer possible to correct jaw misalignments, it is still possible to correct tooth misalignments. Some adults would require full bracketing and braces to align teeth, but many times, we are able to accomplish a straight beautiful smile without the use of any metal brackets or braces. These cases, which we call “limited orthodontics,” are treated using other methods such as tooth-colored buttons on some of the back teeth, with clear elastic bands that cross over the front teeth, and also clear retainers that help push teeth into the proper alignment.