An Introduction to Orthodontics

Many people think that orthodontics are just for kids, but the reality is there’s a growing market for adult orthodontics as well.

Orthodontics performed on children and adolescents are usually intended to correct crowded teeth or a misaligned bite.

Orthodontics performed in Tijuana Mexico on adults are generally cosmetic rather than medical, subtly straightening slightly crooked teeth for a more pleasing smile.

Braces for Children

Children can get braces from around the age of seven to eight years old. This is typically when their permanent teeth are starting to replace their baby teeth. Children’s braces are usually centered around correcting malocclusions, overbites, underbites, or teeth crowding.

While treatment can start at 7-8, it’s usually best to wait a little longer. Around 11-13 years of age the permanent teeth have finished arriving and this is often an ideal time to begin orthodontic treatment.

Braces for Adults

In today’s world, adult orthodontics is a large, and growing, industry. There are a variety of reasons more and more adults are seeking to correct their teeth.

Most commonly, it’s because they did not receive the necessary orthodontic care in their adolescents. Either services weren’t available, or it was simply prohibitively expensive for their families at the time.

Our teeth continue to move throughout our lives, very subtly. Over the course of decades, once straight teeth can become misaligned. This is where cosmetic orthodontic options for adults are incredibly popular.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces use a system of metal wires and brackets to realign the teeth. Despite modern advances in orthodontic treatments, the traditional systems are still considered the gold standard. They’re reliable, predictable, and most of all, consistent in the results that can be achieved.

There are variations of traditional braces that use the same underlying technology, but with a more cosmetically pleasing look. For example, ceramic braces replace obvious metal brackets with subtle ceramic ones. White wires are used to make the wires less obvious when people are smiling.

Aesthetic Braces

Aesthetic braces are made to be as discrete and invisible as possible. These include technologies such as the ceramic braces we just mentioned, or “lingual” braces. Lingual braces are placed on the tongue-facing, or “lingual”, side of the teeth. It’s impossible for people to see them when talking to you without getting into some very close, awkward positions.

Clear aligner systems are also increasingly popular. Invisalign is perhaps the most well-known aligner system. Rather than brackets and wires, it uses custom-fitted plastic aligners to apply gentle pressure to the teeth. Over time, and over the course of many series of aligners, teeth are straightened and realigned.