A person’s smile is an important part of the way that they connect to the world. A healthy and beautiful smile can convey confidence, trust, and enjoyment. A smile also reveals the state of a person’s teeth and dental health. Unfortunately, when an individual’s teeth or bite is misaligned, it can affect the way that they are perceived and the way that they feel about themselves. The goal of orthodontics is to help people achieve healthy and beautiful smiles, so that smiling is never a source of concern again.
Types of Orthodontic Problems
There are many different types of problems that orthodontists can help to correct, including:
- Crowding of teeth
- Improper spacing of teeth
- Missing teeth
- Extra teeth
- Issues with jaw growth
Causes of Orthodontic Problems
The main cause of orthodontic problems is heredity. Misalignments may also be caused by habits such as finger sucking or thumb sucking. Accidents may cause many different types of complications with the alignment of the jaws and teeth. Dental disease may cause the gums to weaken, which can cause the teeth to shift.
Selecting an Orthodontist
Orthodontists receive two to three more years of training than regular dentists to be able to correctly diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities. Only after receiving this specialized training may individuals be referred to as orthodontists. It is important to do research and select an orthodontist that is experienced and meets expectations before agreeing to receive treatment.
What is the Ideal Age for Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic treatment can benefit patients of any age. Children should receive the first orthodontic treatment as young as age seven, as certain complication can be corrected beginning at that age. Children and teenagers commonly undergo orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth and correct other issues. Adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment.
What Is the Patient’s Role in Treatment?
Patients must take an active role in order for treatment to be successful. The orthodontist will evaluate the patient, determine the best course of action, and implement measures to correct alignment issues. The patient must follow the instructions of the orthodontist carefully and attend all appointments for subsequent check-ups.
Patients must also maintain outstanding dental health so that teeth and gums remain strong and orthodontic treatment is effective. Orthodontists will regularly track the progress of treatment and make adjustments as needed to help patients achieve the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.