Goals of Orthodontics is to correct upper and lower jaw alignment, the alignment of the teeth, and to establish good function of the teeth. This will help in good oral hygiene for a life time, thus reducing the frequency of decay and gum disease. The good alignment of the teeth will assist in more thorough brushing and easier flossing. Good function of the teeth reduces the development of jaw joint problems.
Early interceptive orthodontics can eliminate habits such as Thumb/Finger sucking, Tongue thrusting, and lower Lip Biting. If the upper teeth are erupting inside the lower teeth (called Cross Bite) palate widening can be done which helps to prevent jaw joint disease and asymmetrical growth of the face. Guided Serial extraction of baby teeth can often prevent the need to extract permanent teeth later.
Adolescent orthodontics (usually ages 10 thru 13) with the use of full braces completes the finish phase with beautiful alignment of all of the teeth in good function. The development of a very esthetic and pleasing smile is a gift of a lifetime leading to higher self-esteem and a proven much better chance of landing a rewarding job. Social skills are much higher because the patient is much more prone to smile.
Adults can definitely benefit from braces for all the same reasons we mentioned for adolescents. The teeth will move in the same way, and we can hide the appliance considerably thru the use of porcelain braces. We have never finished an adult orthodontic treatment that they didn’t comment, “it was well worth it!”