Superior Smiles for All Ages
At Tilghman Orthodontics, we'll help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile you can enjoy for a lifetime! Our talented doctors provide outstanding orthodontic care to kids, teens, and adults at our Berlin and Salisbury, MD, orthodontic offices.
Whether you're looking for an orthodontist for your child or want to improve the appearance and health of your smile, we welcome patients from all ages around Wicomico County, Worcester County, and the Eastern Shore.
for Every Smile
Tilghman Orthodontics gives you and your family the most efficient and effective treatment options. Everyone's mouth, teeth, and bite are unique, so we create custom treatment plans for every patient.
Our most popular option is metal braces, which are more comfortable and aesthetically appealing than ever, but there are other options. We also offer clear braces and clear aligners for adults and teens to give you a more discreet orthodontic experience.
Orthodontics for Children
Start Your Child's Smile Off Strong
It's never too late to begin orthodontic treatment, but when it comes to your youngster's teeth, treatment is better early rather than later!
At Tilghman Orthodontics, understanding your child's oral development at a young age is the key to giving them a perfect smile. But why are early evaluations and treatment so important?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have an early orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven because most will have developed their first set of adult molars by then.
Drs. Tilghman can examine your child to detect early growth and development patterns and assess whether or not early intervention is necessary.
Our friendly and considerate team gives you a family-friendly environment while working hard to create personalized treatment plans that comfortably cater to your child's needs.
The Importance of Early Treatment
It's important to note that early evaluation doesn't necessarily lead to early treatment. In most cases, we perform an initial consultation exam and monitor your child's growth patterns until it's time for treatment to begin.
Growth patterns and other developmental markers allow us to identify the front-to-back and side-to-side relationships of the teeth. For example, early treatment can help us prevent crowding by ensuring there's adequate room in the mouth for all of the permanent teeth to grow, and if there's not, we can intervene with spacers and expanders.
The Best Time for Early Treatment
Treatment typically begins around ages 9-14, when all baby teeth are gone and most permanent ones are in place. Early examination and intervention work in tandem with your child's growth to facilitate a speedy treatment process. More severe cases will require more time and commitment, and examples of these include:
- Severe Overbite – When the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth, a device called a palatal expander can gradually and painlessly widen the upper jaw. This is especially effective when the jaw hasn't fully developed, and oral surgery may be necessary without early intervention.
- Severe Crowding – This occurs when the jaws are too small to accommodate all of the permanent teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend either palatal expansion or tooth extraction at this point to help the adult teeth erupt correctly. Even if braces are required later, early intervention will drastically reduce the treatment time.
- Severe Underbite – A severe underbite, caused by the lower jaw growing much larger than the upper jaw, can result in premature oral health and self-esteem issues. We can intervene early and avoid potential surgery using braces and other orthodontic appliances.
Correcting Bad Habits
Bad oral health habits aren't uncommon in children, but they can influence the development and function of their teeth, jaws, and mouth. It's important to monitor these habits and talk to Dr. Tilghman if these habits persist.
- Thumb Sucking—This occurs naturally in early childhood and usually disappears between ages 2 and 4. However, over time, the pressure of the digit on the front teeth and the upper jaw can cause the teeth to move apart and the jaws to change shape. This can lead to "open bite," which could cause eating and speech problems.
- Mouth breathing—When the mouth always remains open, passing air directly to the lungs, alterations in the muscular function of the tongue and face can occur. It may cause the upper and lower jaw to grow abnormally, leading to serious orthodontic problems.
Various orthodontic treatments are available to help correct these parafunctional habits — and the sooner they're resolved, the less damage they may cause in the long term.
Schedule an Early Screening
With two convenient locations in Salisbury and Berlin, we aim to correct smiles throughout Wicomico and Worcester counties. If your child could benefit from early orthodontics, give us a call at (410) 742-4813 and schedule your free consultation. One of our team members would be happy to assist you.
Orthodontics for Teens
The most common time to get braces is between 11 and 15. Braces are so common for teens that they've become something of a rite of passage, and for good reason.
Treating misaligned teeth and bites during adolescence allows Dr. Tilghman to take advantage of the natural growth processes during this stage of life.
In many ways, adolescence provides us with a golden opportunity to fix orthodontic issues so that we can give our teenage patients beautiful smiles that will last their entire life.
Tips for Minimizing Treatment Time
While it is common for adolescents to wear braces, most teenagers want their time spent in braces to be as short as possible. After all, there are appointments to keep, food restrictions to worry about, and more attention needed when brushing and flossing.
While the complexity of your teen's orthodontic issues plays a major role in determining how long they'll wear braces, there are some things teens can do to minimize their treatment time, including:
- Come to all your scheduled appointments, and follow your orthodontist's instructions.
- Do a great job of brushing and flossing to avoid common problems that can delay your treatment, like cavities and gum disease. Brushing once in the morning, after meals, and before bed is highly recommended. For flossing, we recommend using threaders to get in between the brackets.
- See your family dentist to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy.
- Contact us immediately if a part of your braces loosens or breaks.
The Optimal Time for Orthodontic Treatment
While there is no set time for children to start treatment, generally between ages 11-13, children have lost all the primary teeth, and the permanent teeth have erupted. This allows your orthodontist to correct problems like malocclusions or "bad bites," improper spacing, or poor tooth alignment.
Unfortunately, orthodontic issues do not correct themselves, so it's best to intervene as early as possible. As your teen grows and develops, oral issues become more complex and costly to treat.
Orthodontics for Adults
More and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment, and it's little wonder why. A new smile can protect teeth and gums far into the future, revitalize your appearance, and boost self-esteem, confidence, and happiness that radiates through every aspect of your personal and professional life.
Modern braces are thinner and lighter than ever, and treatment alternatives like Clear Aligners mean no one ever has to know you're straightening your teeth.
Start With a Free Consultation
Start your journey towards a healthy new smile today and schedule your free consultation with one of our expert orthodontists, Dr. Tilghman.
Visit Tilghman Orthodontics, and we’ll discuss your options and create an orthodontic treatment plan to meet your needs and achieve your smile goals.