Having a healthy smile is something that everyone wants to achieve. However, there are many factors that could prevent us from achieving this goal without professional help. Orthodontic treatment can correct misaligned teeth or jaw abnormalities which in turn helps to improve our overall oral health. An orthodontist is a specialist trained in diagnosing, preventing and treating malocclusion, which is a misalignment of the teeth or jaw. Seeing an orthodontist at the right time can help prevent more serious problems down the line.
Signs that You Need to See an Orthodontist
There are certain signs that you may need to see an orthodontist for further assessment and treatment. Here are some signs that it might be time to visit an orthodontic specialist:
1: Crowded Teeth
Crowded teeth can be caused by a variety of reasons such as genetics, premature loss of baby teeth, or habits like thumb-sucking. Crowded teeth can be difficult to clean properly which can lead to an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay. If you notice that your teeth are particularly crowded, it is a sign that you should visit an orthodontist for further evaluation and treatment.
2: Difficulty Chewing and/or Biting
If you find yourself having difficulty chewing or biting food, this could also be a sign that you need to see an orthodontist. This is because misaligned teeth or jaw abnormalities can make it more difficult to chew and bite food properly. An orthodontist will be able to assess the issue and recommend treatment if needed.
3: Jaws That Click, Pop or Make Noises
If you notice that your jaw makes clicking, popping or other noises when you open and close it, this could be a sign of TMJ disorder. This can cause significant pain and discomfort in the jaw area and should be assessed by an orthodontist as soon as possible.
When to See an Orthodontist
When it comes to orthodontic treatment, there is no one-size-fits-all answer as each person’s individual needs are different. Generally speaking, however, most people should visit an orthodontist around age 7. At this age, most children have enough permanent teeth to allow the orthodontist to assess if there is any misalignment or jaw abnormalities.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early orthodontic treatment can help prevent more serious issues down the line. An orthodontist will be able to assess a child’s teeth and jaw development and recommend treatments that can help reduce potential problems in the future. Early treatment can also help promote healthy tooth alignment which helps reduce the need for more complex orthodontic procedures later on.
Adults Seeing an Orthodontist
Adults who have never seen an orthodontist before may be hesitant to visit one, but it is important to understand that orthodontic treatment is not just for children. In fact, many adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment as well. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above or if you want to improve your overall oral health and appearance, then it may be time to consider seeing an orthodontist.
When Not to See an Orthodontist
On the other hand, there are times when it is not necessary to see an orthodontist even if your teeth look misaligned or crooked. Generally speaking, these issues can be corrected with a good brushing routine and/or over-the-counter products like retainers and aligners. However, if you feel that the issue is more severe and requires professional attention, then it is important to get an assessment from an orthodontist.
Overall, seeing an orthodontist at the right time can help prevent more serious issues down the line. While there are certain signs that you may need to see an orthodontist such as crowded teeth, difficulty chewing or biting, and clicking noises in your jaw, it is generally recommended that most people should visit one around age 7. Early treatment can help reduce potential problems in the future while adults who have never seen an orthodontist before can also benefit from getting assessed by a specialist. In some cases, however, basic brushing routines and/or over-the-counter products may be enough to correct minor issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
A: Generally speaking, it is recommended that most people should visit an orthodontist around age 7 as this is when most children have enough permanent teeth for the orthodontist to assess any misalignment or jaw abnormalities. However, adults can also benefit from seeing an orthodontist if they notice any of the signs mentioned above or if they want to improve their overall oral health and appearance.
A: Some signs that you may need to see an orthodontist include crowded teeth, difficulty chewing or biting, and clicking noises in your jaw. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to get an assessment from a professional orthodontist.
A: Yes, there are times when basic brushing routines and/or over-the-counter products may be enough to correct minor issues. However, if the issue is more severe and requires professional attention, then it is important to visit an orthodontist.