You’ve been thinking about orthodontic treatment for yourself or someone else in your family? You are probably wondering: When is the right time to see an orthodontist? It’s an excellent question, and we have the answer to it.
First reason why you should see an orthodontist: If you have any question about the alignment of your teeth, or the quality of your bite. Sometimes, a problem in this area is painfully obvious. If you have trouble biting, chewing or speaking, or some of your teeth are clearly protruding, crowded or misplaced, an orthodontist can surely treat the problem to help you regain a healthy smile.
Mouth breathing, clenching or grinding your teeth, and the inability to comfortably close your lips may also be signs that an orthodontic treatment is needed. If your jaws seem to frequently shift in position or make sounds as they move, you may need an appointment with an orthodontist.
Did you know that teeth that meet abnormally can even cause a facial imbalance (asymmetry)? No worries, this is a problem that can often be corrected by orthodontic treatment.
ORTHODONTICS FOR CHILDREN
We recommend a first orthodontic examination by the age of 7 for two very good reasons. At that age, not everyone has the same facial and teeth development so it takes an expert to tell if a child may actually have an orthodontic problem, or if it’s just a normal developmental variation. At that time, an orthodontist can also predict whether or not there will be adequate room in the mouth to accommodate the permanent teeth.
An early exam can help to prevent serious problems. Many conditions are far easier to treat if they’re caught at an early stage. However, if left untreated, oral surgery could later be required to correct a serious condition.
If you notice any of the symptoms below, it may be time to visit an orthodontist:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
- Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of proportion to the rest of the face)
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- Inability to comfortably close lips
Even if most patients may not require treatment at 7 years old, an orthodontist will normally monitor a child growth and development from that point on to ensure that he or she is on the right track. Sometimes, it is only the matter of removing a baby tooth at the right time that can make the whole difference and allow the permanent teeth to come in the proper position.
ORTHODONTICS FOR ADULTS
You know when your child needs an orthodontic exam. Now, how about you? Are you afraid of smiling because your smile isn’t as perfect as you want it to be? Know that orthodontic exams are not only for kids. We can help you get the smile you always dreamed of.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Plus, it’s now possible to have “Hidden” braces. Different type and brands exist and they all have their strength. From Incognito, Harmony to Forestadent 2D, there are so many options! You don’t want braces even if they are inside? There is always Invisalign as another solution. This is a series of aligners that you wear and change every 2 weeks to align your teeth.
So if you worry that metal braces might clash with your professional image, be sure that there are solutions and options so no one will know that you are “secretly” improving your smile unless you tell them!
Remember that a nice smile isn’t just about the look. Well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and maintain, and less subject to abnormal wear. A healthy smile keeps you from having trouble eating and speaking.
It is time for you to “Discover your smile!”