What is the best time to begin orthodontics?
While Dr. Reeves can improve smiles at any age, there is usually a best age to begin treatment so we can achieve maximum improvement with a minimum amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child's first visit to an orthodontist should take place when an orthodontic problem is first detected. In all cases the AAO recommends that every child visit an orthodontist by no later than age 7. Although interceptive orthodontic treatment is not always indicated, careful observation can establish the best timing for orthodontic care.

What are the benefits of early screening?
Early screening not only provides timely detection of orthodontic problems; it presents more opportunities to provide more effective orthodontic treatment. Timely intervention can gently guide growth and development and prevent more serious problems from occurring. For example, careful removal of selected primary (baby) teeth can temporarily borrow space for successful eruption of adult teeth. When interceptive treatment is not needed, Dr. Reeves can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment at the best time. Either way, a timely screening will give you peace of mind and that gives us all something to smile about.

Why is Age 7 an ideal time for screening?
  • The back bite is established when the first adult molars erupt, usually before age 7. Dr. Reeves can evaluate front to back and side to side (transverse) relationships at this time.
  • The presence of erupting incisors indicates possible crowding, overbite, openbite, gummy smiles and habit patterns. Timely screening gives Dr. Reeves more chances to create an awesome smile.
  • A timely screening helps parents and patients get to know Dr. Reeves and his Team. Even if immediate treatment is not indicated, we can provide detailed information on what may be needed in the future and appropriate treatment timing.

What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?
Interceptive treatment presents the opportunity to:
CREATE more room for crowded out erupting teeth
CREATE facial balance by influencing jaw growth
REDUCE risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
PRESERVE or gain space for unerupted teeth
REDUCE the need for permanent tooth removal
SIMPLIFY treatment time with full braces
IMPROVE the self image of our children

What are some of the orthodontic appliances used in growth guidance?
Orthopedic treatment may involve expanding appliances, retainers, and a limited number of braces. We will use whatever is best to help shape and widen the dental arches. A larger more appropriately shaped dental arch can mean more room for adult teeth coming into the mouth, as well as a more natural smile. Here are a few of the common appliances used today:

Palatal Expansion Appliance: This appliance can widen the upper jaw to allow more room for the upper teeth and create a broader smile. This is usually used on patients with a crossbite or a narrow upper jaw.
Herbst: This appliance is very effective in correcting large overbites due to small lower jaws in patients who are growing. It is used to enhance the growth of the lower jaw in a forward direction while at the same time applying pressure to the upper jaw in a backwards direction.
Lip Bumper: This appliance is used to widen the lower dental arch to make more room for the eruption of adult teeth.
Space Maintainer: This fixed appliance can maintain arch length and potentially avoid unnecessary removal of adult teeth.

What's new in orthodontics?
Orthodontics has changed a lot in the past years. New technology is allowing Dr. Reeves to produce better results with fewer visits and shorter overall treatment times. Technology such as nickel-titanium-alloy archwires, developed by NASA, have replaced the traditional stainless steel wires of the past. This provides our patients with a temperature-sensitive wire that allows for continuous movement of the teeth over longer periods of time. For our patients this means enhanced comfort, decreased treatment time and less trips to the orthodontist.

Cosmetic advances are also being made in orthodontics making braces less visible and more comfortable than in the past. The brackets used in Dr. Reeves's office bond directly to the teeth and are much smaller and more comfortable than older style braces. If you are looking for braces that don't show, you may want to consider clear ceramic braces. They look Awesome!

The very latest in invisible braces is Invisalign. Invisalign are clear plastic aligners made using sophisticated 3-D computer imaging technology. They are comfortable, removeable and invisible! Dr. Reeves is certified to treat patient with invisalign, so don't hesitate to ask us about it!