According to statistics from the American Association of Orthodontists, nearly 5 million Americans are currently undergoing some form of orthodontic treatment. That’s a lot of braces! While in many cases these orthodontic treatments are designed to help fix aesthetic issues with the smile’s appearance, such as crooked, crowded or misplaced teeth, orthodontic treatments can also benefit you in other ways.

One of the most significant benefits of orthodontic treatment is improvements to the airway. Find out how Dr. van Zyl is changing how patients think about orthodontics while improving their smiles and overall health in this blog.

A New Way of Thinking 

As we said above, conventional orthodontics aims to fix the appearance of the smile. Modern-day orthodontics, also known as neuromuscular orthodontics or airway orthodontics, can help treat serious conditions or issues that develop as a result of jaw misalignment or jaw development problems. This means we’re not just fixing crooked or crowded teeth; we’re working on remodeling the jaw to overcome jaw development problems or model jaw growth, expand the airway and treat – or prevent – jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.

Treating these jaw growth and development issues can help to reduce wear and tear on the teeth caused by clenching and grinding, correct mouth breathing, and lessen the potential for developing health complications such as high blood pressure, cardiac conditions and diabetes.

Many patients who undergo modern orthodontic treatment with us also see improvements in their overall appearance. Changes in facial appearance occur because remodeling jaw development helps to fill out the mid-face region and correct issues caused by overbites and underbites. Many patients report looking more youthful, and they feel as if they had a face-lift without the surgery!

Is It Too Late for Orthodontics? 

Never. While it is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it’s not too late to start orthodontic treatment. If you’re not sure about whether it can benefit you, give Dr. van Zyl a call today to schedule a consultation.

If you think modern orthodontics may benefit your child, we suggest you start early. The ideal time to begin treatment is around age 6 or 7, and here’s why: This age is a great time to ensure that jaw development is happening correctly and the palate has not fully fused. The fusion of the palate typically occurs around age 9, which means treating the jaw early can make treatment easier and more effective.

Are you interested in learning more? We’d love to hear from you. Give Dr. van Zyl a call today at 479-337-4070.