A beautiful smile is the outward sign of successful orthodontic treatment; there is, however, a lot more to getting there than you might think! Orthodontic treatment is complex biological process. It involves changes in jaw bones, facial bones and soft tissue as teeth are moved into their new positions. A good bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak.
Orthodontic treatment is not a quick fix. Your care often starts with a thorough examination of the teeth and mouth, and study of dental records such as x-rays, photos and models of the teeth. From this detailed information your orthodontist usually develops a custom treatment plan. With good care, including orthodontic treatment when necessary, teeth can last a lifetime.
Working together with your orthodontist, orthodontic treatment can yield life-enhancing results: better function (biting, chewing, speaking), improved appearance and increased self-esteem. Our advice: keep your scheduled appointments, advise your orthodontist of problems that may crop up between appointments, watch what you eat and drink, avoid sugary drinks and brush and floss as instructed by your orthodontist. It's worth the effort to reach the goal you and your orthodontist share: giving you a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.
When to See an Orthodontist
While some children can receive orthodontic treatment in early childhood (before the age of 6 years old), treatment commonly takes place between 6 and 12 years of age. The American Academy of Orthodontics recommends orthodontic screening before age 7 to ensure effective treatment for all children. If any of these things relate to your child or yourself, it might be time to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.
- You want a beautiful smile
- You feel a great smile will improve your self-esteem and self-confidence
- You want the best for your family
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
- Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don't meet at all
- Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of proportion to the rest of the face)
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- Inability to comfortably close lips