Signs That Adults Need Orthodontic Services
People’s lives are so busy that it can be challenging to find time to address and resolve dental issues. However, proper oral health leads to higher levels of overall physical health, especially in adults. If you haven’t visited a dentist or orthodontist lately, you may be unsure if you need to. Some of the indicators that you may need orthodontic treatment are:
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly causing tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal jaw pain or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth
- A desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today’s orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces, retainers, and other appliances that are comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and customized to meet your needs.
What Is the Right Age for Orthodontic Services?
Orthodontists today can successfully correct most problems regardless of the patient’s age. But that does not mean that the orthodontic treatment starting age does not matter. In fact, it may play a significant role in the total time and expense required for the completion of the orthodontic treatment. Having been a general dentist for more than a decade before becoming an orthodontist, Dr. Stevens brings a vast knowledge of expertise and experience to diagnose your treatment needs.
Early intervention can make a dramatic impact on establishing the proper occlusal foundation. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children have a check-up with an orthodontist by the time they are seven years old to detect any potential problems. By the age of seven, some of the permanent teeth have erupted, so that most children have a mix of adult and baby teeth. At this stage of mixed dentition, we can spot potential orthodontic problems related to jaw growth and the eruption of adult teeth. Some growth-related orthodontic problems are easier to correct when they are identified early, while the facial bones are still growing.
An early exam allows us to determine how and when a child’s particular jaw or dental problems should be corrected for optimal results. Early treatment, or “phase-one therapy,” may be needed to create a better environment to idealize the occlusion for the patient or possibly create an environment to elevate treatment forever. An early orthodontic examination does not always result in immediate treatment. After evaluating your child, we may simply want to monitor your child periodically while the permanent teeth erupt, and the jaws and face continue to develop. While some phase-one treatment may be necessary, this is not always the case.
At Hook Orthodontics, we make a point of carefully monitoring the patient at no additional charge to determine the correct timing of treatment. Our office policy is to look out for the welfare of the patient, not profit.
Does My Child Need Orthodontic Services?
Once your child has lost their first set of teeth, the teeth that they have must last them the rest of their lives. Therefore, it is crucial to provide them with the dental health they deserve at a young age. Your child may need to see an orthodontist if they demonstrate one or more of the following behaviors:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A hard time chewing or biting food
- Mouth breathing
- Finger or thumb sucking
- Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
- Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
- Teeth that come together abnormally or do not come together at all
- Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
- Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight