Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities using a variety of corrective devices.
Orthodontic problems are generally referred to as malocclusion and include conditions like gaps between teeth, crowded teeth, or misaligned jaws. Most of these conditions are congenital while others have been caused by accidents, thumb sucking, or losing baby teeth later than normal.
Orthodontic treatment corrects these conditions but, in the process, and most important of all, orthodontic treatment results in a great smile and improved self-esteem!
When to see an orthodontist?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) if you notice any of the following conditions or behaviors, a consultation with an orthodontist would be helpful.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Sucking the thumb or fingers
- 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
When should orthodontic treatment begin?
The ideal age for starting orthodontic treatment ranges from three to twelve years of age. Depending on conditions, three years of age is certainly not too early especially for a consultation but also because some interceptive therapies can begin at that age and head off problems in the future. For example, orthodontic braces can help to correct continued thumb and finger sucking or the use of a pacifier.
Although Orthodontic treatment of children is preferred, age should not be a condition for consulting an Orthodontist for treatment of almost and orthodontic problems. (See Adult Orthodontics)
Free Consultation! During the initial examination and consultation, we will determine the best possible treatment option (see Invisalign) for your individual needs. The doctor will outline the treatment, along with the expected duration, and give you the approximate cost. Payment options are available.
Call us today to set up a free consultation!