family having a picnic

Quay William Parrott III

17 Gosnell Crossing
Staunton, VA 24401
540-949-7700 Fax

For Children and Adults

girl with braces

Orthodontics for Children

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age seven. Although treatment is unusual at this age, some interceptive treatment may be indicated. Typically, your child’s dentist will make a referral if he/she has concerns about jaw relationship or tooth position.

Orthodontists are trained to identify subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth remain present. The first permanent molars and incisors usually have come in by the age of seven and cross bites, crowding, and other problems often can be identified at that time. The correction of some problems could be more difficult if parents wait until all the permanent teeth have come in or until facial growth is nearly complete, while other problems are best treated in the permanent dentition with minimal growth remaining. For each patient who needs treatment, there is an ideal time to begin so that the best results can be achieved. The goal of every orthodontist should be to provide patients with the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time.

Here are some signs or habits that may indicate the need for an orthodontic examination:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Thumb/finger sucking
  • Tongue thrust or posture problem
  • Crowding, misplaced or blocked out teeth
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
  • Jaws and teeth that are our of proportion to the rest of face

What to expect from our office:

Dr. Parrott will be happy to see your child around the age of seven for an initial examination with or without a referral from your child’s dentist. He will review your child’s records with you and make treatment recommendations as needed. He will share this information with your child’s dentist. In general, he prefers the “wait-and-see” approach for the vast majority of cases but recognizes that some cases may require early intervention. If you forego the early examination, keep in mind that growth modification is often involved in orthodontic treatment; as such, girls typically may need earlier intervention as they reach maturity before boys. Ideal timing for orthodontic treatment is dependent upon the type of problem, the patient’s dental development, and the patient’s physical maturity. The AAO guidelines for evaluation by age seven cast a wide net that should catch all early intervention needs, yet your child’s dentist can provide patient-specific recommendations for your child’s orthodontic needs.

Orthodontics for Adults

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. One of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over 21. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function; and teeth that work better often look better, too. A healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter what age.

For severe malocclusions in adult patients, growth modification is no longer a viable treatment option. Instead, corrective jaw surgery, camouflage of jaw discrepancies through dental extractions, or acceptance of a less than ideal result are options that may be considered for adult patients. Adults also may have experienced some breakdown or loss of their teeth and bone that supports the teeth and may require periodontal treatment before, during and/or after orthodontic treatment. Bone loss can also limit the amount and direction of tooth movement that is advisable. It’s never too late to improve your smile!

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