Adolescent Orthodontics

Did you know that The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children receive an orthodontic screening by 7 years old? A screening enables an orthodontist to detect any potential issues or problems that may need to be treated. The earlier an orthodontic problem is detected the easier it is to correct.

Here at Yardley Orthodontics, we treat adolescents with a variety of options when it comes to their braces. Some options include:

Early detection of a problematic orthodontic issue allows our orthodontist, Dr. James Riesenberger, the opportunity to treat his patient while his or her jaws are still growing and allows an opportunity to help create the space needed for proper eruption of teeth.

Other common issues addressed in adolescent orthodontics can include:

  • Malocclusion – a condition in which positioning of tooth or jaw may be problematic in function and appearance
  • TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Problems) – refers to pain in the jaw created by misalignment or issues affecting the joints and muscles surrounding the jaw area
  • Aesthetics – this is an overall term used to describe the correction, improvement, and appearance of teeth – straightening and adjusting through use of orthodontic devices and treatments (braces, Invisalign, etc.)

At Yardley Orthodontics, in addition to early detection, we are proponents of preventative dental care. Adolescence is a time of life that can present challenges when it comes to proper oral hygiene and consistency.

We try to empower children, teens, and parents with the necessary tools to incorporate braces and routine oral hygiene with the use of electric toothbrushes that are given to those with braces to help maintain proper oral health.

During each visit, patients overall oral health is assessed with a rating between 1 and 5. Parents are informed of the findings with the use of a scorecard. If the patient’s oral hygiene is in questions, Dr. R will suggest a visit to the general dentist for a cleaning as well as review brushing instructions for better home care.

Our hope is to prevent future problems, save time and money to help children of all ages established healthy standards of self-care. Sometimes it’s as easy as a demonstration on the right way to brush and floss, and highlighting pitfalls of diet and nutrition that impact dental health.

Some of the methods of early detection and prevention we address are in an effort to:

  • stop harmful oral habits
  • help redirect abnormal jaw growth
  • create room for erupting permanent teeth
  • reduce the likelihood of trauma to protruding teeth
  • help avoid the future need for permanent tooth extraction

What can You Expect During a First Adolescent Orthodontic Visit?

During your first visit at Yardley Orthodontics, we conduct a new patient consultation that includes:

  • Obtaining medical and dental history and information
  • A comprehensive orthodontic examination

This first visit typically takes an estimated 45 minutes from start to finish. We may design an orthodontic treatment plan during this visit, but in certain situations, a patient may not be ready for treatment to start. In this case, we put them on “observation therapy,” and monitor their growth and development during a 3 to 6 month period. Otherwise, we generally conduct full diagnostic records (X-Rays, photos and impressions for models) and delegate a full treatment plan and summary of costs on the second visit.

Why is Adolescent Orthodontics Important?

Once an individual transitions from adolescent to adult, he/she has passed the crucial period of time when the jaw and permanent teeth are still maturing and adjusting. Early Treatment may help a future serious problem from occurring.

Many times early-adolescent treatment requires an appliance to help guide tooth eruption or help guide jaw growth – braces, as a prime example. Once all permanent teeth have erupted or growth has ceased, it may no longer be possible to correct certain orthodontic problems without extractions or surgical corrections.

Do you have more questions about adolescent orthodontics, or what to expect during a visit? We have a friendly, highly-skilled team that is ready to answer any questions you have and help you set up a consultation. Please call us today at 215-968-5471.

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