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When Should I see An Orthodontist?

There are many times during dental development when it may be beneficial to visit an orthodontist, but the easiest response to this question is you should visit an orthodontist any time you are concerned about the alignment of your teeth or the way your teeth work together (bite position). An orthodontist can provide evaluations to help you understand the underlying causes of your concerns and provide recommendations for treatments to address these issues. In many cases, a general dentist will refer you to an orthodontist after noticing concerns with the way your teeth work together. Most people come to see us in their early teen years, but you may also need to visit an orthodontist as a child or an adult. If you want to learn more about orthodontic treatments, the team at Wigal Orthodontics in Heath and Mt. Vernon invite you to contact us. We will do our best to answer questions over the phone or schedule a consultation appointment.

Signs a Child Needs an Orthodontic Consultation

Woman comparing braces and aligners

The American Academy of Orthodontists recommends your child receive an evaluation of the positioning of their bite around the age of seven. This early examination and screening may be conducted by a general dentist who can refer you to an orthodontist if there are signs for concern, but it’s always best to rely on the orthodontic experts to provide the most accurate diagnosis and widest range of treatment options. There are a number of different orthodontic concerns that are better to address while the child is still young in order to allow for easier movement and repositioning of the bite than would be possible in the teen years when teeth are fully developed. Some reasons children may want to visit an orthodontist include:

  • Early or late loss of primary (baby) teeth
  • Thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrust
  • Mouth breathing

Teens & Orthodontics

Teen boy with braces

In most cases, we begin orthodontic treatment between the ages of 9 and 14. At this point, the adult teeth are fully developed but still moveable, allowing for easy adjustment. Some of the concerns addressed by orthodontics include:

  • Gapped or crowded spacing
  • Over, under, cross, or openbite
  • Overjet (front teeth protruding too far forward)
  • Abnormal eruption (teeth emerging from atypical parts of the smile)

Reasons Adults May Consider Orthodontic Treatment

Dentist checking fit of Invisalign trays

If you’re an adult who covers your mouth when you smile or does the closed-mouth smile during family photos, the time to visit an orthodontist is now. Many adults avoid orthodontic consultations because they don’t want to undergo treatment with traditional, metal braces. Luckily, your orthodontist will have a number of other options for you, including clear and ceramic bracket and wire braces, lingual (behind teeth) braces, and clear aligners.

Your Consultation Appointment

Closeup of smile with tooth-colored braces

During an orthodontic consultation, we’ll capture diagnostic images and examine your smile. Then, we’ll review the available treatment options to help you find the right solution to align your smile quickly and comfortably. Our team will partner with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs, schedule, and budget. Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you want during your appointment. Our goal is to make sure you feel 100% confident before we move forward with your treatment plan. Think of a question after you left the office? That’s okay too. Give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.