The topic of Orthodontics is very popular among adults and children alike . As a child develops, one of the first things parents may begin to worry about is their oral health. Dr. Norma Chou is often questioned about what signs to look for to determine if a child may need orthodontic attention, and when a child should begin treatment. Each person is different, but Dr. Chou answers a few of the most important questions that you may have below:

When is it best to Begin Treatment?
Orthodontic issues can often be detected early in life. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.

Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.

While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.

There are three main outcomes from an early examination. The check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child's growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time. In other situations, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.

Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make orthodontic treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:

- Guide jaw growth

- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth

- Correct harmful oral habits

- Improve appearance and self-confidence by creating a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face

- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position

- Improve the ability to keep the teeth clean and reduce tooth decay

Because patients differ in both physical development and treatment needs, the orthodontist's goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time. Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you can give your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.

If your child is older than 7, it is never too late for a thorough examination with Dr. Chou!

What are the Treatment Options? Once you or your dentist have determined that you or your child needs orthodontic treatment, you may begin to wonder about what kind of treatment systems are available and which would be best suited for your child. Dr. Chou offers a variety of treatment options such as:

Traditional metal braces Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, they straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option and fun of adding colored ties (rubber bands) for a more unique, personalized and colorful smile.

Ceramic braces: Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth. Dr. Chou will explain in more detail at your initial consultation if you are a candidate for the clear braces.

Clear Braces: Clear braces are a series of clear, plastic aligner trays that can be removed to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Clear braces may be desirable because they are virtually invisible, easier to manage and care for due to their removable nature, and very comfortable. However, Dr. Chou will explain to her patients that there are some drawbacks versus braces in certain situations, Clear braces are less effective on extremely severe cases, or may take longer to correct oral issues. Dr. Chou is experienced with clear braces and will discuss this option if you or your child is a candidate.

What are the first steps? If you are interested in orthodontic treatment for yourself or for your child in Toronto or surrounding areas, the first step is to contact us! Dr. Chou will complete a detailed examination of the face and teeth and will and discuss which options are best suited to correct any issues.that she finds. Once the appropriate treatment plan has been determined, you or your child will be on the road to the gorgeous smile that everyone wants! We invite you to call our Toronto office at 416-532-3041 or visit us on the web at to find out why so many families trust their orthodontic care to Dr. Norma Chou and her experienced team. We look forward to meeting you!

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