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Braces Treatment: Differences Between Adult and Children Orthodontics

Posted on July 8, 2021

A family of three smiling at the camera in front of a yellow patterned background.

According to statistics, between 25% and 50% of children require orthodontics treatment. The procedure for treating children is considerably different from adults. Physiology, oral health history, and psychological factors may impact the approach to treatment. In this article, we will explore why the procedures are different between children and adults.

1. Adults Have Fully Developed Teeth

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children visit an orthodontist by age seven. At that age, the little one has a mix of permanent and baby teeth. The jaw is also growing, and therefore, the child is more responsive to orthodontics treatment.

Treatment for adults is likely to be different because the jaw is fully developed. The procedure could be complicated depending on the severity of the malocclusions. For children, braces are usually sufficient to address bite issues.

2. Perfecting Versus Correcting the Bite

Braces and aligners can treat mild cases of malocclusions in adults. But when the patient has moderate to severe bite problems, additional orthodontic treatment may be necessary. The procedure may involve oral surgery or using dental appliances.

For children and adolescents, the orthodontist has more options to perfect the bite. The jaw will often respond to aligners and dental appliances. As for adults, the orthodontic professional may settle on correcting the bite. Rather than aim for perfection, the objective is to restore your smile as much as the conditions will allow.

3. Implications of Your Oral Health History

By the time most adults are going for orthodontic treatment, they will have had a history of oral health problems. The dental conditions may range from misalignment, infections, gum disease, or tooth extractions.

Typically, children do not have those oral health complications. They can often undergo braces treatment without the need for restorative procedures. Recovery is usually shorter and the experience less invasive.

4. Adult Response to Braces

One advantage that adults may have when it comes to braces procedures is experience. Most grownups already know what to expect before they book an appointment with an orthodontist. The knowledge and exposure are from previous treatments for oral health.

Kids, on the other hand, are more apprehensive about going for treatment. An orthodontist for kids may adopt a different approach when dealing with the little ones. It may involve the use of child-friendly tools and a welcoming environment to ease their anxiety.

5. Bone Resorption and Oral Conditions

Bone resorption is another complication that occurs in adulthood and may impact braces treatment. It refers to the depletion of the jawbone, which usually happens after you’ve lost missing teeth. Adults are also at a greater risk of Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). Such complications may call for an extensive restorative process before undergoing the procedure.

Due to physiological, psychological, and medical factors, orthodontics treatment is markedly different in adults. While it takes more time to address, it doesn’t mean adults cannot receive braces treatment. The difference underscores the value of taking your little ones to an orthodontist. You should go for a checkup every regularly or as soon as you experience symptoms.

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