when to see an orthodontist

When to See an Orthodontist

Your Arvada, Thornton, Aurora, and Highlands Ranch, CO Orthodontist

At Colorado Orthodontics, our mission is to help each of our patients achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Our doctors and highly trained team of orthodontic assistants get to know every patient individually, and we design specialized treatment plans that perfectly suit every patient’s unique orthodontic needs.

But before addressing the question of what treatment to pursue, many patients may wonder if they even need to see an orthodontist in the first place.

A Question of Quality

Everyone wonders at some point or another: When is the right time to see an orthodontist? There are a number of ways to answer this, but the most basic is that you should see an orthodontist any time you have a question about the alignment of your teeth, or the overall health of your mouth.

Sometimes this is obvious. If you’re having trouble chewing or speaking, or any teeth are clearly out of alignment, it’s time to come see us.

Other times, it’s not so clear cut. Clenching, grinding, mouth breathing, and having difficulty closing your lips comfortably are all warning signs for orthodontic treatment. If your jaw shifts positions frequently, makes noise as it moves, or you find yourself unintentionally chewing your cheeks or the roof of your mouth, it’s also time for a visit.

You may even experience facial imbalance (asymmetry), in which some facial features aren’t proportionate or aligned correctly to others. We can fix all these issues with orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontics for Children

Aside from these general guidelines, there are specific things to keep in mind for children. In keeping with American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) guidelines, we ask all parents to bring their children in for an evaluation by age seven. By this time, the back bite is established, so we can comprehensively evaluate the youngster’s development. Every boy and girl develops differently, so it takes a trained professional to determine if there are problems at this stage or everything is developing correctly.

Another major reason is that orthodontic conditions are much easier to treat if they’re caught early on, when the child’s growth mechanisms are in full swing. During early treatment, we can even use a device called a palatal expander to widen the upper jaw painlessly, and reshape the mouth to create more room for teeth to erupt!

Although we may or may not begin treatment at this age, early evaluation enables us to catch problems before they develop in severity, and helps us plan an ideal treatment. We may start treatment immediately or delay it, to monitor the child’s development and wait for the best time to start treatment.

Overall, the benefits of early examination and treatment are manifold:

  • Proper jaw development, which can prevent jaw surgery later on
  • Proper positioning for erupting teeth
  • Prevention of tooth extraction
  • Reduced risk of trauma from tooth protrusion
  • Mitigation of damages from unwanted habits such as thumb sucking
  • Proper speech development
  • Easy lip closure
  • Simplified and shortened overall treatment

Orthodontics for Adults

Now you know about orthodontics for your little one, but what about for you?

Braces aren’t just for kids anymore; more and more adults are discovering the magic of orthodontics. In fact, almost a quarter of our patients are adults! This shouldn’t surprise you: with modern orthodontic technology, getting a new smile has never been easier.

Modern braces are slimmer, more comfortable, and more attractive than ever before, and new treatments like Invisalign® have done away with metal brackets and wires altogether.

There are many benefits of a straighter smile: properly aligned teeth are easier to clean and less susceptible to issues like decay and wear. Furthermore, a beautiful smile imparts a boost in happiness, confidence, and self-esteem that radiates through every aspect of life.

So what are you waiting for? Discover all that orthodontic treatment can do for you!

Contact Your Arvada, Thornton, Aurora, and Highlands Ranch, CO Orthodontist

Have more questions? We’ve got answers! Feel free to reach out to us at our four metro Denver locations or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at one of our offices. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams!

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