They say you can tell a lot about a person’s personality by his or her smile. So when a person feels self conscious about flashing those pearly whites, an unwanted negative impression can be expressed. No one better understands this than the staff at Segal and Iyer Orthodontics. They have seen first-hand how the lives of their patients have changed with orthodontic work, and how someone who never used to smile can become the most cheerful person in the room.
To help patients and parents better understand the orthodontic process, Dr. Ross Segal and Dr. Monisha Iyer answer your questions about the right time to see an orthodontist and how that perfect smile can be achieved.
When should my child be seen by an orthodontist?
Dr. Monisha Iyer: This is probably one of the most common questions we are asked. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends seeing children for an initial visit at the age of 7.
For multiple reasons, our preference is to treat children and teens once all permanent teeth are in or close to being in. Most parents respond to this comment by saying, “My son is only 8 years old and some of his friends have braces and some even got them off.” It is true. Many more kids are getting braces at younger and younger ages. There are a number of cases where early or interceptive treatment is indicated. Sometimes, underlying issues may even negatively impact the form of the palate and position of the teeth if not cared for in time.
Some common reasons for starting treatment early are cases with severe crowding, crossbites, discrepancy in jaw growth, very flared teeth, insufficient space for adult teeth to come in, or even irregular positioning of the teeth for social/aesthetic issues. We also want to address harmful habits that your child may have, such as thumb-sucking and tongue-thrusting. Your dentist is a great resource who can help identify when to take your child to the orthodontist. They have been trained to recognize problems in the mouth that warrant sooner attention.
I saw someone who had recently completed orthodontic treatment and even though her teeth were straight, they looked a little fake, almost like Chiclets. How can you make sure my daughter won’t have an unnatural result?
Dr. Ross Segal: In order to achieve a beautiful smile, it is important that the orthodontist doesn’t just look at the teeth, but rather that he or she takes the whole face into account. If everyone gets the same “cookie cutter” approach, you will often get an unaesthetic result. For example, instead of positioning the teeth so they are perfectly in line, as if the bottom edges could lay on a ruler, we aim to create a “natural arc,” where the bottom edges of the upper teeth follow the contour of the lower lip.
In the photos above, note how the smile on the left appears unnatural and noticeably forced, whereas the smile on the right is significantly more aesthetic. Similar to plastic surgery, it should not appear as if you had "work done," but rather, that you have had a beautiful and natural smile your whole life.
For more information or for answers to more of your questions, visit SegalAndIyer.com or call (856) 810-1006.
SEGAL AND IYER ORTHODONTICS
501 Route 73 South, Suite 202
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 5 (July, 2016).
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