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Early Treatment

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Early age treatment ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of child orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent orthodontic intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for unerupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time with braces

Common Orthodontic Problems

Main Title

Crowded Teeth

Malocclusion

Malocclusion literally means "bad bite" and is the number one reason people see an orthodontist. There are many different forms of "bad bites" which can lead to a variety of complications.

There are many causes of malocclusion. Genetics are one of the leading factors. A child may be born with a disproportionate jaw. There are also environmental factors, such as thumb sucking beyond the age of 4.

Underbite

In an underbite, the lower jaw is longer than the upper which causes the lower teeth to protrude in front of the upper teeth.

It is best to diagnose the problem early.

Overbite

An overbite, or deep bite is when the front teeth cover the lower teeth too much.

An excessive overbite leads to wearing down of the teeth and even may cause the bottom teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.

Spacing

The malocclusion known as spacing is too much room between the teeth. Spacing can occur if teeth are missing, small, or if the dental arch is wide. The most common complaint from patients with excessive spacing is cosmetic.

Cross Bite

A crossbite is when the back upper teeth fit into the inside of the lower back teeth.

A crossbite causes tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.

Protruded Teeth

When the upper front teeth stick out too far forward, or the lower teeth don’t extend enough this is called protrusion. Because of the abnormal contact between the upper and lower front teeth it could cause injury to the lower teeth. It also causes poor bites and may even be from uneven jaw growth. This problem can be caused by thumb and finger sucking.

Mid Lines Off

In a perfectly aligned face there should be a straight line from the bridge of the nose to the bottom teeth...all should be lined up. If they are not and the bottom teeth are actually misaligned from the top teeth, then your midlines are off.

When your midlines are off your teeth could be drifted or your lower jaw could be shifted, which would result in an improper bite.

Open Bite

The common result of thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, an open bite, is when you can actually stick your tongue between your teeth while biting down.

An open bite is a cosmetic problem, but it can also cause chewing problems.

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Best
Orthodontists in
Washington DC
2016