Dental care is an essential aspect of healthcare. Sometimes people need more advanced dental care than cleaning or fillings. Here are three reasons to see an orthodontist.
1. When Your Teeth Are Crooked
The most common reason people seek treatment from an orthodontist is crooked or misaligned teeth. The need may be purely cosmetic, or there may be an issue with your bite, such as an overbite or underbite. Braces with metal brackets are the traditional method of aligning teeth, but alternatives such as Invisalign are becoming increasingly common. Children often need specialized orthodontic care because their mouths are still growing and changing. Orthodontic care should wait until a child’s baby teeth have all fallen out and monitored carefully. However, you can bring a child to see an orthodontist as early as age seven for a consultation. Adults’ orthodontic care should also be closely monitored.
2. When You Have a Congenital Oral Defect
Some oral and dental issues are caused by genetic traits, such as hypodontia or a cleft palate. These issues may require more specialized care than braces and your orthodontist will be able to assist you in finding an appropriate oral surgeon or other specialist to treat you. Some of these issues may still only require, but may take more time or require more tools to correct, such as rubber bands or headgear.
3. For Retainer Maintenance
When your orthodontist is satisfied with the alignment of your teeth, he or she will remove your braces or allow you to discontinue other treatment methods. However, your bite will still be susceptible to shifting around. This happens in children and teenagers due to their mouths continuing to grow and change even after orthodontic treatment. In adults, the ligaments and jawbones anchoring your teeth may still pull the teeth toward their original alignment, so theprevents this shifting. Retainers can also be used to treat minor bite misalignment and other oral conditions such as tongue thrust or bruxism. For tongue thrust, a crib retainer is typically prescribed, which trains your tongue not to slip between your teeth as you speak. Bruxism is the medical term for grinding your teeth, particularly in your sleep. Bruxism retainers can protect your teeth by preventing them from grinding together or by keeping your mouth from closing entirely, depending on the thickness of the plastic. It’s important to continue seeing your orthodontist while you wear a retainer to ensure its upkeep.
While not everyone will need to see an orthodontist, their services are vital aspects of medical care for the community.