There are people who resist smiling even when they’re happy. Most of the time, it’s because they’re embarrassed to show they are crooked, widely spaced or misaligned teeth. If you have the same problem, then you need to see an orthodontist. It’s that simple.
But improving your smile is only one of the reasons to see an orthodontist. There are also potential health issues that could arise due to malocclusions (bad bite). You won’t be able to properly clean your teeth, which may lead to tooth decay and/or gum infection.
What Does an Orthodontist Do?
An orthodontist is trained and experienced in treating malocclusion. Aside from finishing 4 years of dental school, they undergo 3 more years of training to become an orthodontist. They can help improve your bite and straighten the teeth by correcting how your jaws line up and how your teeth (upper and lower) fit together.
Orthodontists use various orthodontic appliances like the traditional braces as well as the more modern aligners like Invisalign to move the teeth.
Why See an Orthodontist
Generally speaking, patients see an orthodontist to straighten their teeth. But, as mentioned earlier, there are other equally important reasons to seek orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics can treat crowded or crooked teeth, as well as overbites and underbites. If left untreated, these issues can cause infections in the teeth and gums, and even result in tooth loss. Malocclusions also make speaking and chewing difficult.
When to See an Orthodontist
The American Association of Orthodontists advises that children see an orthodontist by age 7 or earlier, even if there are no apparent problems. At this age, their jaws are still developing and any issues can be easily corrected.
That is not to say that adults shouldn’t see an orthodontist. In fact, the average adult orthodontic patient is between 26 and 44 years old. We even have patients as old as 70 requiring braces.