When we think of orthodontic care, we usually think of teenagers and children wearing metal braces. You can seek treatment for your smile or bite-related concerns at any age. If you are wondering whether it is time to see an orthodontist, here are some signs to remember.
- You want a straighter smile. Most adult patients seek orthodontic treatments for having their teeth straightened. Besides additional complexities, misaligned teeth can be an aesthetic issue and can impact your self-confidence. If you are not keen on traditional braces, there are options like clear aligners that are just as effective. Your orthodontist will order imaging tests and plan the treatment according to the diagnosis.
- You have overcrowded teeth: If you have too many teeth in one space, this can cause long-term dental concerns, including gum infections and tooth decay. Your orthodontist may consider removing one or more extra teeth and suggest wearing braces to align your smile. Extractions are not complex and can be done in just one of two appointments.
- You have gapped teeth: If you have gaps between your teeth, you need to see a dentist immediately. Braces and other orthodontic treatments can help fix these concerns. Besides natural gaps between teeth, you may also have gaps if you have one or more teeth removed or extracted.
- You have malocclusion: Also called a misaligned bite, malocclusion is common among kids and adults alike. It could be a case of an overbite, underbite, or crossbite. Besides causing vanity-related problems, malocclusion can lead to other concerns, including clenching, speech issues, and headaches. You need to see a dentist at the earliest.
- You are dealing with teeth grinding: If you suffer from teeth grinding, you may wake up with sore gums and pain in your teeth, which can be uncomfortable. Talk to your dentist, who will guide you on how to fix the concern, which may include wearing customized mouthguards for your needs.
- You have issues concerning the temporomandibular joints. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull and is responsible for all jaw movements. If you have pain in your jaw muscles or cannot open your mouth, you may want to get screened for temporomandibular disorders.
Call an orthodontist as soon as possible, even if you don’t have pain related to the above. Early intervention is the best way to get desired results with minimal concerns and risks, and you can also evaluate all available treatment options.