Orthodontic FAQs

Orthodontic care specializes in making your teeth straight. At Elite Orthodontics, Ammar Al-Mahdi, DDS offers his expertise and compassionate care to children, teens, and adults who desire a functional and cosmetic change to their teeth. Call the office or book an appointment online to learn how you could benefit from orthodontic care.

When should a person first visit the orthodontist?

Children benefit from visiting the orthodontist for the first time around the age of seven. At this age, when they have a mix of baby and adult teeth, it’s easier to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems with the least invasive interventions.

Consider an orthodontic consultation for your child if they:

  • Had an early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Breathe through their mouth
  • Suck their thumb
  • Have a tongue thrust habits
  • Have crowded or misplaced teeth
  • Have large spaces between their teeth
  • Have crowded front teeth
  • Have an increased overbite and overjet
  • Have underbite where lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
  • Have missing permanent teeth
  • Have an impacted (teeth stuck in the jaw) permanent teeth

Early treatment can help your child achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Early treatment can also have implications for your child’s health that go beyond the teeth. But orthodontic treatment isn’t limited to children, teens and adults benefit, too.

What orthodontic treatments are available for teens?

As a teen, usually almost all of their adult teeth have come in, and orthodontic treatment can address issues such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, and crowded teeth.

Early evaluation allows Dr. Ammar to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further treatment if necessary.

Dr. Ammar does a thorough evaluation to determine if braces, Invisalign® plastic aligners, or other corrective treatment is best. Accelerated orthodontics, which uses special techniques to shorten orthodontic treatment time by three to eight months, could also be an option for some teens.

Dr. Ammar monitors and evaluates correct jaw growth in the small window of time right before and during puberty. This is a critical time of development and the best time to control and re-guide growth. Changes after puberty are quite difficult.

How can early orthodontic care help with sleep apnea?

The arrangement of the teeth can affect more than just your appearance and bite function. As your child ages, an improper bite can affect their ability to breathe well at night and result in sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous sleep condition in which a person intermittently stops breathing at night due to soft-tissue blockages in the airway and some other factors. The brain senses the lack of oxygen and leads to brief awakenings that disturb sleep cycles and increase the chances of daytime sleepiness as well as chronic health conditions.

Although sleep apnea doesn’t usually manifest until a person is an adult, early orthodontic diagnosis and treatment can help your child develop the ability to breathe and sleep normally. Research finds a notable relationship between airway quality and children’s mental and physical health. Earlier diagnosis of sleep apnea and airway constriction allows for less-invasive treatment and a better health outcome.

What orthodontic treatments are available for adults?

Adults can choose orthodontic treatment for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Improving their smile’s appearance
  • Preparing for better cosmetic dental outcome
  • Idealizing implant space and position to guarantee the best cosmetic outcome
  • Improving aesthetic and cosmetic smile and smile animation by accelerated
  • Correcting jaw pain or pressure caused by crooked teeth
  • Straightening their teeth with braces or aligners

Orthodontic treatments can also improve health by correcting irregularities that contribute to sleep apnea or encourage tooth decay.

If you’re avoiding orthodontic treatment because you don’t want the discomfort and look of metal braces, know you have more discreet options. You can choose from clear braces, clear aligners, ceramic braces, and lingual braces (braces behind-the-teeth). Accelerated orthodontics use techniques to shorten orthodontic treatment times so you can benefit from any type of braces and see results sooner.

For a thorough orthodontic evaluation, call Elite Orthodontics or book an appointment online today.