Many people are aware that they need to visit the dentist regularly, but fewer realize they should also visit an orthodontist. Contrary to popular belief, orthodontists do more than straighten your teeth: they care for your health in a similar way as other types of doctors. Read on to learn about when you should visit an orthodontist.
When to See an Orthodontist
Before Age 7
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a visit to the orthodontist around age seven. This helps doctors evaluate problems and potential problems. By seven, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, which allows orthodontists to see how the teeth are fitting into the jaw. Since children’s jaws are still developing, orthodontists have the opportunity to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems early and use the child’s own growth to guide them into optimal position.
Many children do not need orthodontic treatment, but there are several scenarios in which they should receive interceptive orthodontic treatment. Some children have crowding of baby teeth, or maligned jaws. Some have finger or thumb-sucking habits or tongue thrust habits that affect the positioning of their teeth.
When You Have Problems
As an adult, you should see an orthodontist if you begin to have issues with your teeth or your jaw. The doctor will measure how far you can open your mouth, whether you have any discomfort or clicking when opening and closing your mouth, and whether you're having issues with maligned teeth. Jaw issues are irritating to patients and should be taken care of to prevent arthritis, grinding, and clenching. Most people think that maligned teeth are merely an aesthetic issue. However, misaligned teeth can increase your risk for tooth loss, decay, and gum disease.
When You Want a Change
Another reason to see an orthodontist is that you want your smile to look different. Perhaps you never had braces as a child, or maybe your teeth have moved since your early orthodontic treatment. Many orthodontists treat adults age 70 and up who want straighter teeth. With modern treatments such as Invisalign® and other forms of clear braces, orthodontic treatment is more convenient and discreet than ever. It’s never too late to improve your teeth.
Rad Orthodontics in Potomac, MD, specializes in perfecting your smile, so you can use it with confidence. Rad Orthodontics uses the newest, most sophisticated technology, including Invisalign®, to provide an excellent outcome in the shortest amount of time. Visit our website to learn more, or call (301) 299-3993 for more information and to schedule an appointment.