Why you should get orthodontic treatment
The goal of orthodontic treatment is a good bite—meaning straight teeth that mesh well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak. This can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may improve self-esteem.
Orthodontic treatment is often part of a comprehensive dental health care plan. With good care, including orthodontic treatment when necessary, teeth can last a lifetime. Treatment in children or teenagers who are still growing may yield results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have completed their growth.
A healthy bite is as important at age 60 as it is at age 16. Even though adults are no longer growing, they can also enjoy improvements that come from orthodontic treatment. Your age is not a consideration for orthodontic treatment. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment is a smart investment in your dental, physical and emotional health.
When to consider orthodontics
If you recognize any of these signs in your child or yourself, it might be time to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits
- 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
- Inability to comfortably close lips
Orthodontics has come a long way
A variety of orthodontic “appliances” are available today, thanks to on-going research in orthodontics. Options include traditional metal braces, tooth-colored braces, braces that go behind the teeth, clear aligners and other devices, as appropriate. Check with your orthodontist about the best way to achieve your treatment goals. Comfortable and efficient, today’s orthodontic appliances also contribute to a stable, long-lasting result.
While the appliances used in orthodontic treatment have come a long way since orthodontics became dentistry’s first specialty in 1900, what endures is orthodontists’ desire to help you achieve your healthiest bite possible.