The teenage years are often the optimal time to pursue orthodontic treatments because the adolescent face and jaw is still growing. Patients treated at this age often achieve excellent, efficient results.
Treatment is often recommended at this age because the emotional side of an unattractive smile can affect a teen for years. When children and teens are not confident in the way they look, self-esteem can suffer. Teens who have their orthodontic problems treated will no longer feel embarrassed or self-conscious of their smile.
Most orthodontic problems are inherited including crowding, too much space between the teeth, protruding upper teeth, extra or missing teeth, occassional jaw growth problems. Other issues, like malocclusions (crooked teeth) develop over time and are usually caused by thumb-sucking, mouth breathing, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, poor dental hygiene, early or late loss of baby teeth, accidents, poor nutrition, and some medical problems.
Treatment of these orthodontic issues during the adolescent years is important because crooked or crowded teeth can be difficult to clean effectively. Teeth that are not cleaned effectively on a regular basis can develop tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Crooked or crowded teeth can also affect your bite, causing abnormal wear of the tooth surfaces, difficulty chewing or speaking, excess stress on supporting bone surfaces and gum tissue, and possible jaw joint problems like TMJ. And, without treatment, these issues will only become worse.
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