When to See an Orthodontist

Do you close your mouth when you smile? Do you avoid looking in the mirror whenever possible? Do you suffer from jaw tension and chewing problems? If so, it’s time to see an orthodontist.

There are many reasons to schedule an appointment with your local orthodontist—perhaps you’re unhappy with your smile, perhaps you’re suffering from pain and discomfort, or perhaps you simply want to give your child the best chance at a beautiful, healthy mouth.

No matter the reason, an orthodontist will examine your teeth and jaw (or your child’s teeth and jaw) to check for a number of common orthodontic problems. If correction is required, the doctor will then recommend treatment options. That can include straightening your teeth, correcting an overbite, fixing crowded teeth, and much more.

Common R easons for Orthodontic Treatment :

  • Crowded or misaligned teeth
  • Gaps or spaces in between teeth
  • Bite problems (overbites, underbites, overjets, cross bites, and open bites)
  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Abnormal eruptions

When Should Children See an Orthodontist?

Children have special needs when it comes to oral care. Their jaws are still developing. Their baby teeth are giving way to permanent teeth. In order to develop a healthy mouth, they need to see an orthodontist frequently to check for potential problems.

Some cases are obvious, demanding a special visit. If a child’s baby teeth fail to fall out or if they persistently suck their thumbs or breathe through their mouths, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with Labbe Family Orthodontics to discuss your options.

Even if your child doesn’t suffer from a noticeable problem, it’s a good idea to have them examined. In fact, the American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children visit an orthodontist before the age of seven. That’s because only an orthodontist can determine whether a child’s teeth are developing correctly.

By the age of seven, the majority of children have lost all or most of their baby teeth and have developed all or most of their permanent teeth. Since their jaws haven’t fully grown, however, they may experience crowding or bite problems. An orthodontist can tell whether the crowding is normal and will correct itself over time, or whether the mouth is simply too small to accommodate the new teeth.

It’s a critical time. For starters, it’s much easier to correct problems at an early age, when the body is still growing. Left untreated, a little misalignment may turn into a long-term source of pain and discomfort. A problem, such as a crossbite, that might require only a minor correction as a child may demand major reconstruction as an adult.

If treatment is required, Dr. Labbe may recommend immediate corrective action. More likely, he will wait and see how the mouth develops. Typically, treatment begins between the ages of 9 and 14, although each case is different.

When Should Adults See an Orthodontist?

These days, most people see an orthodontist when they’re young, but orthodontic treatment isn’t just for kids. In fact, the AAO estimates that that one in five orthodontic patients is an adult.

Perhaps that’s because orthodontic treatment is more accessible than ever. These days, traditional metal braces aren’t the only recourse; now there is a range of less invasive, less noticeable treatments, such as Invisalign braces.

Perhaps it’s because adults are increasingly recognizing the importance of oral care. Orthodontic care involves both cosmetic and structural elements. Treatment can both improve the look of your smile and the overall health of your mouth, which is essential to the overall health of your body.

Are you suffering from pain and discomfort? Is an imperfect smile undermining your confidence? Schedule an appointment with Labbe Family Orthodontics to discuss treatment options. We’re a proud Maryland family orthodontist, offering state-of-the-art orthodontic care to both children and adults in the following areas:

Call today to start your journey toward a perfect smile.

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