While most people believe orthodontic treatment begins and ends with braces, treatment can actually begin long before braces are applied. Orthodontics is concerned with the proper alignment and spacing of your teeth as well as the alignment and position of your jaw. Treatments focus on correcting issues affecting alignment as well as those that affect occlusion, or the way your teeth come together when your mouth is closed. Many orthodontic treatments can be begun in childhood while the jaws and palate are still growing. Early treatment, called preventive or interceptive orthodontics, can help shorten the duration of orthodontic treatment like braces when the child gets older, and in some cases, it can even avoid the need for treatment. Once braces are removed, orthodontic care extends into the use of retainers to help ensure teeth remain in their ideal positions.
During your orthodontic consultation, you'll learn about the specific issues you're facing and the types of treatments that can help correct those issues. Not every type of orthodontic care is ideal for every patient; you'll have a chance to learn about your options and to weigh the benefits of each so you can feel confident you're receiving the best possible care.
Many patients can complete treatment in under two years, but some patients take longer. The duration of your treatment will depend on the issues that are being corrected and the type of orthodontic treatment that's being performed.
Braces can be a great option for patients of all ages as long as the teeth and jaw bones are strong enough to withstand the gentle pressures and shifting motions exerted on them.
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