A variety of tooth and jaw issues open up the door to orthodontics in a growing child.  Dr. Chris Hill may point out that your child’s baby teeth appear crowded, or the relationship between the jaws isn’t ideal.  While not generally the time for treatment, it may help you prepare for the possibility of future corrective care.   As permanent teeth start to appear, usually around age 6, Dr. Chris Hill monitors the process further and helps you decide if early orthodontic treatment makes sense. Orthodontic screenings can also be performed for adults who want to know what might be involved in straightening their teeth.

If you would like an orthodontic screening for yourself or your child in St. Louis, please call (314) 678-7876 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) today for an appointment with Dr. Chris Hill at the City Smiles office in downtown or Clayton.

Orthodontics at All Ages

Although the majority of cases involve teenagers, braces can play a role for some kids in their earlier years and even some adults. Since permanent teeth are typically larger than baby teeth, space may need to be opened with the gentle force of braces. This allows teeth to move into place properly, helping avoid more extensive treatment later.

A narrow jaw or a large overbite may create a similar dilemma. Guiding jaw growth while your child’s developing can make a tremendous difference in the long-term outcome.  Once the growth stops in teen years, the only corrective measure often involves surgery…always a good scenario to avoid when possible.

Adults may need orthodontics because they either didn’t get it as a teenager or had a relapse of orthodontic work. For most adults, the concern is cosmetic. In these cases, Invisalign or Six Month Smiles are both good treatments. But if you have bite issues such as TMJ, neuromuscular orthodontics may be recommended instead.

In other cases, we might recommend dental veneers to reshape your teeth so they are straight. This might be especially useful for adults whose teeth are stained or chipped–cosmetic defects that will remain after orthodontic treatment.

The Usual Track

Many youngsters benefit the most from orthodontics after baby teeth fall out and permanent teeth move into place.  This classic case may start in the early teen years, leaving a nicely aligned and highly functional set of teeth going into adulthood.  The length of time spent wired-up can vary, but average treatment time often falls around two years.

A variety of methods allow orthodontic treatment to solve nearly every possible scenario that appears, but successful treatment relies on good patient compliance. Wearing elastic bands consistently, keeping follow-up appointments for adjustments, and practicing outstanding home care can lead to a positive outcome.  This commitment involves frequent preventive visits with your hygienist as well, a strategy that helps avoid cavities around brackets.  The City Smiles team specializes in helping our orthodontic patients enjoy a successful outcome: a gorgeous, healthy smile.

Sometimes, Invisalign can be helpful in overcoming hygiene problems. There is no special care required during Invisalign treatment because there are no brackets or wires. However, diligent oral hygiene is still required, and teens have to be responsible enough to wear aligners for the required 20-22 hours each day.

To schedule an orthodontic screening in St. Louis, please call (314) 678-7876 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) today for an appointment with Dr. Chris Hill at City Smiles in downtown and Clayton.