Orthodontics For Children
Dr. Ritucci follows the American Association of Orthodontists guidelines and recommends that children in our Plymouth or Sandwich, MA orthodontic offices be seen by the age of seven. While your child may not need active orthodontic treatment at this age, it gives Dr. Ritucci an idea of your child’s growth and development and allows him to monitor any issues that may be present. Choosing the right time to begin orthodontic treatment is just as important as the treatment itself.
It may be time for your child to visit Dr. Ritucci if he or she exhibits:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
Dr. Ritucci may recommend completing your child’s orthodontic treatment in two phases. Phase I is often focused on a single problem that, if left untreated, may cause irreversible problems, asymmetric jaw growth, the extraction of teeth, or may be more difficult and take longer to treat later. Phase II treatment is comprehensive and involves correcting the bite and achieving optimal aesthetics. During your child’s consultation, Dr. Ritucci will let you know if two-phase treatment is required.
The Team Approach
Every successful team requires a coach who can optimize the players’ potential. This sports analogy of team, player, and coach is helpful in explaining our team-approach philosophy. The patients are the players, Dr. Ritucci is the coach, and the parents own the team. As your child’s orthodontic coach, he will customize a treatment plan specifically for them and coach them to success! Of course, with encouragement and a lot of fun along the way!
Please contact our Plymouth or Sandwich practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now can give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.
Orthodontics For Teens
Teens have to deal with many things that can be stressful, but having braces shouldn’t be one of them. Dr. Ritucci and our team offer a variety of braces and appliances that are customized, easy to take care of, and a lot better looking than braces of the past. Our goal is that our teen patients take ownership of their treatment, achieve a great smile on time, and have a little fun along the way.
Types of Treatment for Teens
Braces of the past were often bulky, difficult to take care of, and not great to look at. Modern braces with Dr. Ritucci are completely different.
- SmartClip™ self-ligating braces use low profile, tie-free brackets, which not only look great, but are more comfortable as well.
- Clarity™ SL also uses self-ligating technology, along with tooth-colored brackets that are almost invisible against the teeth.
- Clear aligners do away with metal and brackets all together. While they’re not for everybody, they can be a great option for patients who have mild spacing or crowding and are responsible about their aligner use.
Compliance is the Key to Success
Maintaining good oral hygiene, keeping appointments at our Plymouth or Sandwich offices, and faithfully wearing all elastics or appliances will help keep treatment time on track, regardless of the type of braces used. We find that positive reinforcement is the best way for our teen patients to achieve success. Our incentive program called Fish Bowl encourages them to do a good job brushing, flossing, and wearing their elastics, and rewards them with the chance to win awesome prizes.
Having braces isn’t the end of the world; in fact, it’s just the beginning of a life full of smiles. Please contact our Plymouth or Sandwich orthodontic office to schedule a consultation for your teen.
Orthodontics for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.
Common reasons why adults consider orthodontic treatment:
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly causing tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal jaw pain, or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth
- Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
Treatment options for adults
For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Types of braces include:
- Clear (ceramic) braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Invisible braces (aligners)
- Traditional metal braces
The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens:
The main difference to remember when treating adults or children and teens, is that in younger patients the jawbones are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may mean the possibility of orthognathic surgery to align the jawbones. Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.
- Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted.
Our practice also recognizes that adults and children have different needs, and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatments, and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.
Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.
- A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it's needed can create long-term health issues costing you more in the end.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We understand that you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.