How Do I Know if I Need Orthodontics?
Do you think you need orthodontics? Many people confuse the orthodontic specialty as synonymous with dentistry, when in fact, orthodontists are highly specialized dentists that focus their work mainly on the alignment and correction of the jaw and teeth. Are you one of these people and have you wondered if you should actually seek orthodontic treatment or not? There are many reasons why one would be referred to an orthodontist, but if you’re experiencing any of the conditions below, it may be time to schedule your next orthodontist appointment.
Aesthetics and Confidence
Likely the most obvious reason to seek orthodontic treatment, gapped, crowded, overlapped and protruding teeth or a misaligned jaw can make you feel insecure about your smile. If you find yourself shying away from the camera or covering your mouth when you laugh, a visit to the orthodontist may be a great investment to boost your confidence.
Overbites, underbites, crossbites, etc. can cause a variety of symptoms in a misaligned jaw. These include a clicking or popping sound while chewing or talking, feeling like your jaw is shifting out of place, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, and/or frequent headaches that may radiate to the ears or neck.
A seemingly simple task, misaligned teeth can make eating a difficult and painful process. Some people can bite the inside of their cheek or tongue while others will just avoid certain foods that are difficult to chew altogether.
Pain, Tooth Decay, and Gum Disease
If your teeth are misaligned, this can cause tight spaces between teeth that make it incredibly difficult for floss and toothbrushes to reach. This can result in a buildup of bacteria and plaque that can lead to tooth decay, gum recession, and gum disease. Orthodontic treatment can align these teeth, allowing your daily cleaning process to be more effective and thus reducing any pain or discomfort you may have been feeling.
You may have already had braces as a child. However, over time, our teeth have a natural tendency to shift back to their original positions if you aren’t committed to wearing your removable retainers. If this occurs, it usually compels people to return for another round of orthodontic treatment to re-correct the issue.
The American Association of Orthodontist recommends the first consultation around ages seven to nine. This is because children of this age still have their primary (baby) teeth. If a future misalignment problem can be detected, such as crowding, preventative measures can be taken to correct the problem before it worsens. For example, if early signs of dental crowding appear, it is beneficial to make space within the mouth to allow for the normal eruption of teeth.
The skilled team at Elegant Orthodontics are proud to offer a wide variety of orthodontic treatments to the people of Massachusetts. To inquire for more information or to schedule a consult, contact our office today. Elegant Orthodontics is conveniently located near Boston, Norwood.