When You Should Consider Orthodontics To Straighten Your teeth
If you live in the Winnipeg, Manitoba area and you've been considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or someone you care about, the dedicated team of dental professionals at Dr. Tim Dumore & Team is here to help. You may be wondering when the right time is to see an orthodontist, and there's no one right answer. We'll be happy to answer your question during a consultation visit, but here is some preliminary information to get you started.
It's appropriate to see an orthodontist any time you have a question or concern about the alignment of your teeth or your bite. Some misalignments, like a pronounced overbite, are more obvious than others. You may have difficulty with ordinary parts of your day like speaking, biting, or chewing.
Other orthodontic concerns may not be as obvious. Issues like mouth breathing, clenching or grinding your teeth, or the inability to close your lips comfortably may also be appropriate reasons to seek out orthodontic attention. If your jaws seem to shift in position, make popping sounds, if you frequently and unintentionally bite your cheek, or suffer chronic jaw pain, these may also be signs of an orthodontic issue.
The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children have an orthodontic exam by age 7. Though this may seem young, early detection can save a child from more invasive orthodontic treatments later, and often active orthodontic treatment won't begin until ages 9-14.
Orthodontists are specially trained and qualified to examine the wide disparity of tooth development in young children. Only a skilled orthodontist can tell if a child may have an orthodontic issue when looking at an array of permanent teeth, remaining baby teeth, and new spaces. Other common childhood issues that may benefit from orthodontic treatment include early or late loss of baby teeth, persistent thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and mouth breathing.
It's also beneficial for a child to see an orthodontist because there are many conditions that will be much easier and quicker to treat if they're caught at an early age. For example, if a child has a crossbite or narrow upper palate, an orthodontic appliance called a palatal expander can effectively treat this problem gradually. If left untreated, this same condition in an adult must be treated by invasive oral surgery.
If you're self-conscious about the alignment of your teeth or experience some of the symptoms listed above like teeth grinding and jaw pain, it may be time to see an orthodontist. According to the AAO, about one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and with more subtle treatment options like clear aligners, translucent ceramic brackets, and lingual braces, your coworkers may not even notice.
Properly aligned teeth are easier to care for and maintain, are more comfortable, and contribute to a greater feeling of confidence. Call us today at 204-832-3910 to get started on your ideal smile.