Think of an orthodontist as a specialized dentist. To put it simply, the orthodontist is the go-to dental practitioner for the proper application of cosmetic and dental treatment of misalignments of your teeth and jaws.
In practicing oral health, it is important to know that the common belief that only children and teenagers need to visit the orthodontist for braces treatment is wrong. Here are the reasons why you should visit an orthodontist.
To Reduce The Risk Of Future Dental Problems
First and foremost, like with everything else, especially when it comes to healthcare, prevention is better than cure.
Medical conditions are a lot easier to manage or even completely solved when they’re caught early. As the specialists at Hello Ortho explain, getting ahead of common orthodontic problems such as protruding teeth, crowding between teeth, gaps, etc, through proper treatment leads to better overall oral and dental health. For children, regular orthodontist visits have an even greater preventive advantage. The visits happen at the formation stage of their oral health, so all the common problems, like overbites and underbites, can be prevented.
To Solve Sleeping Problems
If you have sleep apnea or any trouble sleeping, your jaw may be the culprit. Many more people than you’d think have sleep disorders caused by a problem with their temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that attaches your lower jaw to your skull, supported by your facial muscles, and is what allows you to swallow, yawn, or chew. When the alignment of the temporomandibular joint is off, it impacts the tongue’s position as you sleep. The result is that the tongue blocks the airway and causes either snoring or worse, sleep apnea.
A visit to a boutique orthodontist’s office will have you getting the required number of sleep hours again with the appropriate treatment. Usually, this involves prescribing the wearing of an orthotic or oral appliance at night in addition to orthodontic treatment. These treatment options help push your lower jaw forward to bring your tongue into its correct position and once your misaligned jaw is corrected, chances are your sleep apnea plus your snoring symptoms will go away.
To Straighten Crooked Teeth
Caused by early bad habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, poor dental hygiene, or other out of control factors like facial injury or genetics, crooked teeth are a huge cause of low self-esteem issues in both adults and children.
Not only that, but other adverse effects of crooked teeth include:
- Periodontal disease. As it can be difficult to clean between crooked teeth plague is more likely to form and result in tooth decay and gum disease
- Crooked teeth may additionally interfere with proper chewing, which can cause digestion problems
- Speech difficulties can arise from your teeth being misaligned as they can affect the way you articulate sound
A visit to an experienced orthodontist can solve all of these problems associated with crooked teeth and more. Usually, you’re fitted for braces. Braces are a great option for people of any age, provided that your teeth and gums are strong enough to hold them.
To Stop Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding or bruxism while not a cause for alarm when it is done occasionally can pose serious health implications when it occurs regularly and necessitates a visit to the orthodontist.
Some common causes of teeth grinding are stress, anxiety, and sleep apnea. Research shows that most teeth grinding happens when we’re asleep so many people are unaware of their harmful habit. If you wake up with constant headaches or a sore jaw, you may need to see the orthodontist for a bruxism diagnosis.
Here’s why obsessive teeth grinding is a problem:
- Chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing or even a loss of teeth
- The chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps
- Excessive teeth grinding can affect your jaws, causing or worsening Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD/TMJ)
- Excessive teeth grinding can change the shape of your face
To Fill The Gaps Between Teeth
Also known as a diastema, this refers to a gap or space between the teeth. These spaces can form anywhere in the mouth but are most commonly noticeable between the two upper front teeth.
Some gaps are small and barely noticeable, in which case there’s no need to see an orthodontist; but other gaps are larger and maybe a cosmetic issue for you.
Braces are the common treatment for closing gaps. However, if you’re an adult this may not be an option, either for medical reasons (weak gums) or for personal reasons (aesthetics). In that case, an orthodontist may prescribe veneers or bonding is another option. This procedure uses a tooth-colored composite that can either fill gaps or fit over teeth.
A myriad of dental and oral health issues – teeth grinding, gaps, misaligned jaw- can be solved by a visit to the orthodontist. This will improve not just your overall oral health, but also your self-esteem.