How Do I Know If I Need Orthodontic Treatment?
Have you ever wondered whether you need orthodontic treatment or not? Maybe you’re feeling self-conscious about your bite or the alignment of your teeth. Even if your teeth are straight, you may have underlying issues such as discomfort or pain when you chew. There are many reasons why you might be looking into different orthodontic treatment options. As an established orthodontist with over 25 years of experience in the field, I’ve treated tens of thousands of patients and seen many types of cases. Here are some of the most common reasons why I believe people go to their orthodontist for a professional evaluation.
Aesthetics and Confidence
Oftentimes, crowding, spacing, and protrusion make people feel insecure about their teeth. They are embarrassed to smile in photographs and in front of others. Fortunately, orthodontic treatment can help correct these aesthetic imperfections and give you the confidence and pride that come with straight teeth and a great smile.
Many of the patients that come to our practice had braces as children. Unfortunately, teeth have a natural tendency to return to their original positions if retainers are not diligently worn. Orthodontic relapse is a condition where teeth slowly fall out of alignment following treatment. This usually compels people to return to a practice for another round of orthodontic treatment to correct it. At Bethesda Dental Specialties, we make sure that after our patients have finished their treatment, they understand the importance of wearing retainers to minimize the risk of relapse. We also help patients create healthy dental habits and give them valuable tips on how to maintain their new beautiful smile.
Pain, Tooth Decay, and Gum Disease
Due to misalignment, teeth can overlap and create tight spaces that are hard for toothbrushes and floss to reach. Consequentially, plaque and bacteria can accumulate, leading to dental problems like tooth decay, gum recession, and gum disease. Through proper orthodontic treatment, your teeth will be spaced and aligned correctly, allowing you to brush and floss your teeth more effectively. In addition, there will be less stress and wear on your teeth and on your jaw joints (TMJ).
Since most orthodontic problems can now be treated with Invisalign, adults and children of all ages are finding orthodontic treatment is easier than they had ever imagined. For children, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a consultation at age 7. Some children, typically in the 7 to 9 year-old age range, benefit from an early phase of orthodontics while there are still primary (baby) teeth. If there is crowding, space can be made to allow for the normal eruption of teeth. If there is a jaw relation problem (such as crossbite, overbite, under-bite, open bite or deep bite) orthopedic appliances can be used to harmonize jaw growth. We encourage early screening visits to address orthodontic problems before they worsen.
To learn more about whether orthodontic treatment is right for you or your child, contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation appointment. We perform a thorough analysis of your mouth, share the results with you, and if appropriate, put together a treatment plan customized specifically to your needs.