Optimal timing for orthodontic treatment

Adolescence provides the optimal window during which to undertake orthodontic treatment for the vast majority of patients. The ideal time to undertake treatment for any individual, can be determined through the use of developmental markers.

The key developmental markers include the stage of dental development (the presence of most of the permanent teeth) and also to timing of the spurt in facial growth which accompanies the adolescent growth spurt. This spurt in facial growth is responsible for changes in the relationship of the upper and lower jaws which has a significant impact upon our ability to establish an ideal bite (occlusion) and also for the stability of orthodontic treatment in the long-term. Definitive orthodontic treatment which has been undertaken too early, has been shown in the peer reviewed literature to be the least stable. The use of braces is still the most precise and versatile treatment method available to teenagers seeking orthodontic treatment. We have several options available to our teens, when they are selecting their braces.