You’re never too young or too old to benefit from orthodontic treatment. If you are hesitant to smile, laugh, or even talk in public, because you’re conscious of the appearance of your treatment, then you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment. Generally, from the age of 7 years, children and adults can seek orthodontic treatment to:
- Improve the appearance of their smile – Orthodontic treatment is designed to address your unique orthodontic problems, such as gapped, crooked, or overcrowded teeth and misaligned bite that make you self-conscious. It can give you the pride and confidence that comes with straight teeth and a perfect smile
- Improve your dental health – Leaving crooked, overcrowded, and misaligned teeth untreated can lead to many other dental issues, including gum disease, tooth decay, and abnormal tooth wear and difficulty chewing. Fixing orthodontic issues can help you take better care of your teeth and mouth.
Some reasons to consult an orthodontist include:
- Noticeably crooked teeth
- Gaps between your teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Protruding teeth
- A deep bite
- An open bite
- Difficulty chewing food
- Speech difficulty
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Biting the cheek or into the roof of your mouth
- Sucking the thumb
- Mouth breathing
- Inability to comfortably close your lips
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- You simply want a beautiful smile, and feel that it will improve your self-confidence
Other signs that you may need orthodontic treatment include jaw/neck pain, chronic headaches, and clicking sounds when you open your mouth. All of these are indicators of jaw/joint disorders.
When should you start orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, since the teeth and tissues are more or less the same for children and adults. With advances in orthodontics, the treatments are now more comfortable and more successful than ever for people of all ages. Depending on your case, your orthodontist will work with other dental professionals, such as general dentists, oral surgeons, periodontists, and prosthodontists to design a comprehensive, personalized orthodontic treatment plan for your specific needs.
To determine if you are a good fit for orthodontic treatment, you should consult with your orthodontist. After carefully analyzing the nature of your needed correction, the orthodontist will design the best treatment plan for improving your smile.