Orthodontics – What Should You Know?

Orthodontics – What Should You Know?

Dr. Shohreh Sharif


Braces are most commonly associated with straightening teeth, but did you know that they can help achieve a healthier smile as well?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. The earlier a plan can be created between parents and the dentist, the sooner the child can be on a path to their healthiest smile. Therefore, a pediatric dentist evaluation is important to identify the best phase of growth to begin treatment. This allows for a reduction of the time a child needs to wear braces.

“We know that baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth, but are we aware that there is a delicate relationship between the space we have in our mouths and the space we need? Teeth that work in harmony are critical to healthy biting [and] chewing, and are a foundation for clear speech,” says Dr. Shohreh Sharif, who has practiced and taught dentistry for over 25 years. She is a diplomate of both the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Orthodontic Society.

There is a seamless transition between the pediatric dentist, who monitors a child's growth since their first appointment, and the timing of orthodontic treatment. Dr. Sharif's offices have offered orthodontic services since 1990, and she acknowledges the pivotal role of early orthodontic treatment and how it has increased over the years. “It is our job to catch any potential obstructions to the development of healthy teeth and smile[s]. It is essential to recognize the problems early,” she says. A major factor is parents who are eager to give their children every advantage possible.

At Greater Washington Dentistry (GWD), both offices are equipped to provide children with an accurate diagnosis. This allows for the proper treatment plan to be created, then explained to the parents. Common problems are crowding, overbite, underbite and missing teeth. Dr. Sharif is experienced in both Invisalign and traditional metal braces. In today’s world, the wide variety of options allows treatment to be individually-tailored for optimal results. The best way to know is to ask. Do not hesitate to call and schedule a consultation for yourself or your child.

Comprehensive Plan

The primary purpose of GWD’s comprehensive treatment approach is to achieve a healthy, functional and aesthetically-pleasing orthodontic result that will remain stable throughout the patient’s life. The GWD process combines tooth straightening with a focused assessment of physical and facial developments currently underway.

Planning a Winning Smile

Above all, precipitous orthodontic treatment can eliminate the need to remove permanent teeth later, or to implement jaw re-alignment procedures. GWD’s orthodontic records help determine the type of appliances needed, the probable duration of treatment and the optimal frequency of visits. Records consist of models of the teeth, x-rays and photographs. During a child’s initial consultation, the records help forecast whether early treatment is appropriate.