When Should You See an Orthodontist ?
When should you visit an orthodontist? This is one of the questions we frequently get from our patients. Well, the answer depends on your condition, the type of treatment you want, and the stage of treatment you are in. In this article, we will provide more details to help you understand when to see orthodontics.
Who is an orthodontist?
Orthodontists specializes in addressing the diagnosis, prevention, management, and correction of mal-positioned jaws and teeth and misaligned bite patterns. The dentist may also address the modification of facial growth. Orthodontists use fixed and removable devices like bands, retainers, and braces to change the position of teeth in the mouth. Some of the dental conditions you can visit our orthodontist dentist office for include:
- Crowded teeth or teeth that are too far apart
- Bite problems – underbite or overbite
- Crooked teeth
- Jaw misalignment
Orthodontics for children
Orthodontists specialize in treating malocclusion and misalignment. Therefore, the best time to visit an orthodontist is when you notice the signs of any of the conditions relating to teeth misalignment and malocclusion. According to the American Association of orthodontists, children should have their first check-up with an orthodontist before they turn 7.
The reason is that, by that age, a child will have developed a mixture of permanent and temporary teeth. As a result, orthodontists will easily recognize orthodontic problems at their earliest stage. Regardless, you can still visit the dentist if your child is younger than 7 and you notice an abnormality. In other words, you don’t need to wait until your child turns 7 before seeking a recommendation or checking with an orthodontist.
Signs your child needs an orthodontic evaluation
- Premature loss of baby teeth due to decay or trauma
- Improper alignment of the teeth when your child bites and difficulties with chewing or biting
- A family history of missing teeth
- Breathing through the mouth or snoring
- Overcrowded or protruding mouth
- Thumb sucking
As we explained above, we recommend the first orthodontic evaluation for children before 7 years. However, it is still possible before 10 years. At this age, they will have a mix of baby and adult teeth. Therefore, an orthodontist can easily detect dental problems. If you think your child can benefit from a visit to an orthodontist, visit Sbenati Dentist London Ontario today or call (519) 474-0220.
Orthodontist for adults
Orthodontists treat adults as much as they treat children. Are you conscious of your smile around strangers? Do you feel your smile is not as perfect as you want it to be? Then, you should visit an orthodontic dentist office today.
Contrary to the popular opinion that orthodontists are for children, most orthodontist patients are in fact adults. The treatment is suitable for any age group and class. Although most people visit an orthodontic dental clinic for straightening their teeth, issues like overbites, underbites, and crooked teeth can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, or tooth loss. Unlike children, most orthodontist patients are between 26 – 70 years.
When do you need an orthodontist ?
When you are not confident in your smile
Our teeth play a crucial role in our smile. Have you met people who avoid photographs or resist smiling because they don’t like their smile? If your smile is uneven, gapped, crooked, and does not project the confidence you want and deserve, you need an orthodontist. Our orthodontist treatment can help you improve your smile, so you don’t have to feel embarrassed anytime you need to flash your teeth in public.
When you experience pain and soreness in your gums, teeth, and mouth
If your gums, teeth, and mouth hurt, there is a problem you must fix. For example, it could mean an underlying issue like improper teeth alignment is causing the pain. If you are experiencing any form of soreness or pain, visit an orthodontist to know the cause of your pain or discomfort for immediate relief.
When you have breathing troubles or sleep apnea
When you have a narrow jaw, your teeth won’t align properly and this prevents air from passing through. As a result, individuals with this condition breathe through their mouths. Apart from this, they wake up with sore throats and snore loudly. If you suffer from breathing problems and sleep apnea, it may be time to visit an orthodontist.
When you have trouble with speaking
The teeth play a vital role in articulation and communication. Therefore, if you struggle with speaking, there may be a problem with your teeth. For example, if you slur your words, stutter, or whistle while you speak, it could be a problem with your teeth placement.
The placement of your teeth can affect words that require tongue-to-tooth contact. Luckily, an orthodontist can align your teeth and help you pronounce words and speak with ease.
When you have chewing difficulty
You will experience difficulty with eating and chewing when your teeth are not properly aligned. Some of the issues you will face include open bites, crossbites, underbites, and overbites. An orthodontist can fix any of these problems and help you enjoy your food without any difficulty.
What does a visit to an orthodontist look like?
Orthodontist treatments are usually in two phases – phase one and phase two. The early treatment is referred to as phase one, while the follow-up treatment when your child is older is phase two.
A visit to an orthodontist will involve an initial examination that will cover the following areas:
- Is there an orthodontic problem?
- If so, what is it, and what are the options to fix the problem?
- How long will the recommended treatment take?
- How much will the treatment cost?
Phase one orthodontic treatment is designed for serious bite problems. It also helps prevent emotional and physical trauma that can result from such problems. It could involve using orthodontic appliances to space the mouth so it can accommodate and align the remaining adult teeth or more. Not to worry, your orthodontist will advise on all available treatment options that align with your needs.
Phase one treatment can last for up to 2 years for the correction or jaw and tooth problems. When all the permanent teeth are present, if the situation warrants, the patient may require phase two treatment, which can take up to 2 years or more. However, most orthodontic problems end with phase one.
At Sbenati Dentistry clinic, we offer full-service dental care in cosmetic and general dentistry. We invite you to schedule a free dental examination with our team today for the healthy and confident smile you deserve.