Braces in Thornhill
Our orthodontist offers a wide variety of options for braces for patients from adults and teens to children who require orthodontic treatment to restore the appearance and function of their smiles.
Orthodontic Treatment with Braces
Braces are an orthodontic treatment option used to help our patients achieve straighter smiles and oral health.
Treatment using braces offers a number of different health benefits. It helps to align your teeth to help support proper biting, speaking and chewing. On top of this, straighter teeth are generally easier to clean and less likely to sustain uneven wear and tear over time.
As you or your child begin and progress through your braces treatment, we are committed to helping you feel at ease and providing a seamless orthodontic experience.
We understand that starting an orthodontic journey can be a daunting experience, so we strive to answer all of your questions and address any of your concerns. We aim to work at your pace and explain each step of the process.
What are braces?
Braces are composed of wires and brackets that work together to gradually move your teeth within your mouth to prescribed positions by applying constant and gentle pressure. Treatment with braces also involves periodic adjustments at your orthodontist's office.
The Benefits of Straight Teeth
While you might be considering braces for the cosmetic results, it's important to understand the health benefits they offer. Straight teeth may offer a more desirable look to some people, but they also allow you to speak, chew and bite more effectively in your day-to-day life.
Properly aligned teeth may also contribute to overall oral health, as they can be easier to brush, clean, and floss. The ability to take better care of your teeth through proper oral hygiene may help prevent future cavities and periodontal disease.
It's normal to feel anxious about undergoing orthodontic treatment. The team at Thornhill Family Orthodontics will be with you each step of the way to guide your treatment, and answer your questions.
Determining If You Need Braces
There are a number of malocclusions (misalignments) of the teeth and jaws that can be treated (completely or partly) by braces. These include overbite, crossbite, overjet, and crowded teeth.
Your orthodontist will perform a comprehensive clinical evaluation of your jaw and mouth in order to determine the nature and severity of your misalignment, and will recommend a treatment based on that.
- How old should my child be when they visit the orthodontist for the first time?
Often, orthodontic problems are easier to correct when they are detected and treated early.
For this reason, the Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should visit the orthodontist for the first time by the age of 7.
Some children may not require treatment until they have grown to between the ages of 11 and 13, but since your kid's first permanent molars and incisors will have erupted by age 7, orthodontic issues—like crossbites, overbites, overjets and more—can be evaluated and treated by your orthodontist at this earlier age.
- Can the orthodontist even do anything to correct bite problems while a child still has their baby teeth?
In some instances, orthodontic issues may be significant enough that they warrant attention earlier than usual. This early stage of treatment is often called phase I orthodontic treatment.
If a young patient isn't ready to begin treatment at this time, we will monitor their growth and development until the time for treatment is right.
- What does Phase I Treatment involve?
Phase I, otherwise known as early interceptive treatment, involves implementing limited types of orthodontic treatment (e.g., expanders or partial braces) before all the child's permanent teeth have erupted.
The kinds of treatment generally start between 6 and 10 years old. We may recommend early treatment for a number of different reasons, including to correct crossbites, overbites, or underbites, to mitigate harmful oral habits and to make space for your child's developing teeth.
- If my child has Phase I Treatment, will full braces still be necessary?
Most of the time, Phase I treatment is done in preparation for Phase II treatment. This means that it is quite likely that your child will eventually need full braces.
However, early treatment can make future orthodontic treatment more efficient. It can help to regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, create space for permanent teeth to erupt correctly, prevent the need to extract permanent teeth, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking habits, and help eliminate abnormal speech or swallowing problems.
Essentially, Phase I treatment can help make Phase II treatment easier on your child in the long run.
- What problems can develop at an early age?
A child may require orthodontic treatment at and earlier age for any number of different reasons. When your orthodontist begins your kid's treatment at a young age, they can make effort to guide the growth of your child's jaw and the emerging of their permanent teeth.
All of the following issues may be treated with early (phase I) orthodontics:
- Tongue thrusting
- Trouble with chewing and breathing
- Late or early loss of baby teeth
- Teeth that are crowded, loose, or impacted
- Upper and lower teeth that do not meet correctly
- Improper jaw alignment
- How long will I have to wear braces?
This is a very common question, and with good reason! Having a time frame in mind can be helpful in mentally preparing for your orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from 9 months to 5 years from start to finish. Most of the time, though, it lasts between 12 and 24 months.
The duration of your orthodontic treatment depends on the following factors:
The problem that is being corrected - The position of your teeth and the extent of the problem will affect the duration of treatment. Everyone is different!
If you’ve had phase I treatment - Some pre-teens or teenagers have already undergone orthodontic treatment when they were younger—called Phase I orthodontic treatment. If you have had Phase I treatment, you'll probably have a bit of a head start on your treatment timeline.
How you care for your teeth and braces during treatment - The way you take care of your teeth and orthodontic appliances while you undergo treatment can affect how long it ends up taking. If you follow the care instructions your orthodontist gives you, you likely won’t need to wear your braces for longer than originally planned.
- What can I eat?
When undergoing treatment with braces, you will be able to eat most of the foods you normally do, with a few exceptions. You will want to avoid the following kinds of food:
- Hard foods - hard pretzels, nuts, chips, hard candy
- Chewy/sticky foods - gummy bears, taffy, gum, caramels
- Foods that you bite into - apples. corn on the cob, celery, carrots
- What does Phase II Treatment involve?
Phase II treatment – or comprehensive treatment – involves full braces that are applied only after all the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between 11-13 years.
- What are my treatment options?
Orthodontic treatment has advanced significantly in recent years. Today, our patients have access to a variety of excellent treatment options you can choose from.
Here are a few of the many options that teenagers and adults tend to go with:
- Coloured Braces - You’ve embraced the fact that braces will be part of your life the next couple of years. You can select elastics for your braces in your favourite to help personalize your smile.
- Invisalign® - Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. That means no wires and brackets! With Invisalign clear aligners, many people may not notice that you’re straightening your teeth.
- How can orthodontic treatment be beneficial to adults?
A straight, healthy smile plays a significant role in life, both in terms of your health and, for many, your confidence.
Orthodontic treatment may have an impact on some people's self-confidence. You'll find yourself smiling for pictures more, laughing more heartily, or even speaking up and sharing your thoughts and opinions with more confidence, all because you’ll feel more at ease with how your teeth look.
Orthodontic treatment can also have a positive effect on your overall health. Correctly aligned teeth are less prone to chipping or damage, and they’re also much easier to clean properly than misaligned teeth are. This can prevent problems like tooth decay, bad breath, gingivitis, and gum disease.
A well-aligned bite also creates less strain on the jaw muscles and joints, making for easier chewing and better digestion.
And though orthodontic treatment may seem costly at the outset, over time it can help you avoid more expensive dental procedures by proactively ensuring your smile is healthy.
- Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment has no age limit! In fact, more adults than ever before are getting orthodontic treatment.
These days, more than 25% of Canadians undergoing orthodontic treatment are adults, and that number is growing.
We treat adults, and even seniors on a regular basis. The basic biological process that allows teeth to move is essentially the same in all healthy individuals, no matter their age.
- How will having braces affect my day-to-day life?
For the most part, your braces will have little impact on your daily life. Once your teeth and mouth have adapted to your braces (they may feel a bit sensitive and tender at first), you’ll be able to go right back to your usual daily activities without any significant disruptions.
- What are my options for 'low-profile' braces?
Invisalign® - Invisalign clear, custom, removable aligners straighten your teeth without wires and brackets. Invisalign is a low profile treatment, which means many people may not even notice that you’re straightening your teeth.