Differences between orthodontics in adults and children

The belief that orthodontics was only a child thing is a thing of the past. Until recently, this was aimed at children and adolescents, but for a few years people between 30 and 50 years go to these treatments to correct the bad position of their teeth. Adults already account for more than 30% of patients in many dental clinics, encouraged by techniques that have been incorporated into dentistry and that allow the treatment to be more careful with the aesthetics of the patient, without losing effectiveness. Both child and adult orthodontics aim to diagnose, prevent and treat abnormalities of the jaw, so that the teeth recover their correct position, shape and function. But even if the purpose is the same, there are some differences between orthodontics in adults and in children.

Although the goal is the same, there are differences between orthodontics in adults and in children.

Currently, anyone who wants to show off a beautiful smile and improve or solve their chewing problems, can do so regardless of age and following the advice of the orthodontist.

Throughout this article will be explained some of the differential issues of orthodontics in terms of age, knowing that the first is that child orthodontics is performed at an age-from 7 years-in which the growth and evolution of the jaws is present, while the orthodontics in adults is done on a person who has finished his stage of growth and who, moreover, has been able to lose or suffer damage to a tooth.

Main differences between child and adult orthodontics

The first difference between orthodontic treatment in children and adults is the care that is taken with the image. When using this type of device, adults are more reluctant because of the impact that orthodontics has on their aesthetics. To live for months with a metal smile is something that does not attract the elderly and that has caused many people to postpone the desire to achieve a more beautiful, pleasant and healthy smile. With the new possibilities offered by dentistry, adults opt for dental braces that are not very visible. All those methods that favor aesthetics and comfort, such as sapphire brackets and invisible orthodontics, will be preferred by patients over 30 years of age to undergo adult orthodontics.

The main difference between orthodontics in adults and children is the care that is taken with the aesthetics of the patient.

On the other hand, aesthetics is something that is not so important when it comes to a child. This makes that what prevails in these cases is that the treatment works well and is the best to fix the problems of the maxillary bone. The most frequently used orthodontic treatment for children is metal orthodontics, the oldest and most used technique. What’s more, while for many older people wearing metal brackets is a problem for their image, for many children it can be fun and funny; even many like to be able to decorate their brackets with colored gummies.

Orthodontics in children usually correct or be interceptive and its main function is aimed at achieving a correct development of the jaw. Something that cannot happen in orthodontics for adults, since in the latter, the process is focused on definitive teeth.

Ultimately, the objective pursued by the orthodontics in adults and children are different. The first one seeks to correct a pre-existing defect that in many cases may be dragged from childhood; whereas when it comes to a child, what is wanted is to prevent a future oral problem. On this premise, the way of planning both treatments is different.

Children’s orthodontics

With orthodontics for children the problems of dental malocclusions are identified as they develop and are solved when the bad position of the teeth is not yet definitive. It is assumed, as experts say, that at this stage of life it is easier to correct a defect of this type. With infantile orthodontics, the width of the dental arch is corrected, so that its perimeter does not increase as well as the replacement of teeth that have an inadequate position with respect to the others. Specifically, what the orthodontist does is a treatment that can be of three types, depending on age: early, interceptive and fixed orthodontics.

The early orthodontics is to apply devices that help remove bad habits acquired by the child and that are harmful to teeth, such as thumb sucking. It is also an early orthodontic technique to place space retainers if a milk tooth is lost prematurely, to prevent an adjacent tooth from moving in a position that does not correspond to it.

These methods would be carried out between 3 and 6 years, and would be implanted under the responsibility of an expert in orthopedics. Although in recent years much progress has been made in this regard, these treatments are not usually very common, since it is not usual for children to start going to the dentist when they are 6 years old, the age recommended by all specialists. Anyway, before that age, parents should be attentive to how the teeth and maxillofacial bone of their children evolves, and they should take it to an orthopedic surgeon if they observe any anomaly.

Between 7 and 11 years, problems related to the shape of the palate or jaw are relatively easy to solve. For this, activators or growth inhibitors are usually used for the jaw. However, at this age, the position of the teeth cannot yet be acted upon, as it is necessary to wait until the person has the final pieces. For this it is recommended to wait around 12 years, when you can use a fixed orthodontics, either metal or any other type, as well as invisible orthodontic systems, to correct the position of the teeth.

Orthodontics for adults

Orthodontics in adults is used to improve the mouth aesthetically thanks to new techniques that allow to achieve a beautiful smile at the end of the treatment, without having to sacrifice this same aspect throughout the procedure. From the point of view of dental health, orthodontic treatments for adults seek an adequate dental eruption, correct bone structures and place permanent teeth well.

Frequently, when an adult comes to an orthodontist to become interested in dental braces, he does so after having lost a tooth or when the development of the wisdom teeth displaces the rest of the teeth, causing a crowding or causing dental alignment problems. . This circumstance usually requires the participation of various specialists in the complete treatment, such as periodontics, implantologist and orthodontist.

Finally, it is important to underline the types of orthodontics for adults that exist. The most demanded by the patients are the orthodontics, the lingual, the sapphire aesthetics and the invisible orthodontics:

  • Damon orthodontics: they are a kind of brackets a little smaller than normal, which offer better results for their speed and comfort.
  • Lingual orthodontics: it uses braces similar to the traditional braces but it does so on a face of the tooth.
  • Aesthetic orthodontics: they are brackets equal to the traditional ones but of color of the tooth in such a way that it is not perceived that they are worn.
  • Invisible orthodontics: these are plastic splints to move the teeth to their ideal position. They are almost invisible and no one notices that they are wearing them.