They may have gotten a bad reputation over the years, but braces and orthodontic treatments can transform your smile, jaw, bite — they can even change the shape and appearance of your face! They can also correct uncomfortable issues like overbites, underbites, and other common tooth and jaw problems. While you may think of them as unsightly at first, braces can actually improve your confidence and make you feel great about your smile, and the good news is, there’s never a wrong time to embark on your own orthodontic journey. Whether you’re looking for more information on braces for your child, or are interested in adult braces for yourself, Dillehay Orthodontics wants you to know that any time is a good time to see us!

Although there’s never a bad time to begin considering braces, it’s helpful to know what to expect with early, adolescent, and adult orthodontic treatment. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from each stage!

Early Treatment

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The American Association of Orthodontics recommends the first orthodontic screening by age seven, but children can see an orthodontist as soon as their permanent teeth begin to erupt.Actual treatment may not be recommended this early, but a good orthodontist can give you a better idea of if treatment is likely to be needed, and when it should begin after your child’s initial consultation.It’s ideal for children to see an orthodontist around age seven because early detection and screenings can make several orthodontic problems easier to correct. Depending on the type of problem, and how severe it is, your child may benefit from a two-phase orthodontic treatment, which often makes it easier to guide the teeth into place over the course of treatment.It’s important to understand that orthodontic procedures do more than just straighten the teeth. They can correct a bad bite, improve chewing, and gently guide the eruption of the emerging teeth. They’re also able to assist with bad habits like thumb sucking, as well as jaw disproportions and blocked out teeth.The great thing about visiting an orthodontist for a seven-year screening is that it doesn’t require you to proceed with any recommended treatment right away. You have time to think about your options until you and your child are ready. In the meantime, your orthodontist can continue monitoring the growth and development of your child’s teeth, jaws, and face until you feel the time is right.

Treatment for tweens and teens

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The timing of braces treatment for adolescents will normally depend on the severity of the malocclusion (or how bad their “bad bite” is) and what the root cause of that particular misalignment is. The earliest that orthodontists generally start treatment with braces is when most of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between 8 and 14 years of age.

Although this will still depend on tooth growth and how quickly those new teeth come through, that 8-14 year old range has the added benefit of working with bone structures that are still growing. Because these are not yet fully developed, orthodontists are able to guide the teeth and jaws into an optimal position.

Braces are very common among teenage patients! The right treatment will for each patient will always vary based on a number of factors, so it’s imperative to discuss which traditional or alternative forms of braces are right for your child with your orthodontist. Dillehay Orthodontics is proud to offer not only traditional metal braces, but also self-ligating, ceramic, and lingual braces, as well as clear Invisalign aligners for both adults and teens.

Adult Treatment

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It’s never too late to have the smile of your dreams! Did you know that in the last twenty years, there’s been a 40% increase in the number of adults opting for braces? There are currently more than 1 million patients over the age of 18 getting braces annually!

The stigma about braces continues to fade as modern orthodontics improves its technology and options, especially as invisible or nearly invisible treatments such as ceramic braces or Invisalign aligners grow in popularity.

Whatever your age, we always recommend you talk to a qualified orthodontist to discuss the best course of action for your particular situation, and the options available to you. Dillehay Orthodontics is happy to offer a free initial consultation to potential patients to ascertain if there’s a need for orthodontic treatment.

This initial consultation gives you the opportunity to meet our friendly and experienced team while you receive a complete exam. During this consultation, we will

Your options with Dillehay Orthodontics

If the cost of braces has discouraged you from seeking treatment for yourself or your child, you might be surprised to find out how affordable they can actually be!

The cost of any orthodontic treatment will always vary depending on individual needs and treatment plans. Our staff will discuss with you the cost of your treatment and each available payment plan option, so that you can make the best choice for you and your family. Our practice accepts most major credit cards and insurance plans and we’ll work with you to create a payment plan to fit your budget. You’ll always know exactly what to expect before beginning treatment.

With offices in East and West Wichita and Derby, as well as satellite offices in Arkansas City and Newton, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to receive the best orthodontic care whenever you need it! Contact Dillehay Orthodontics today for more information, or to schedule your free initial consultation! From ages 7 to 70, we’re here to give you a smile to last a lifetime.