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Early detection of orthodontic problems gives you the best options for treatment. Many cases of crooked or misaligned teeth can be treated before the permanent teeth are finished coming in. Unfortunately, the myth that only older kids and teens need a checkup still exists, and it often leads people to overlook the importance of orthodontic care until the problems have become unbearable.
One of the questions that people tend to ask us the most is, when is the right time to visit your orthodontist. While the correct answer to this is different for everyone, understanding how to determine when you or your child needs to go help you to protect your smile.
What Are the Benefits You May Get When You Visit Your Orthodontist?
One reason why you may hesitate to make that checkup appointment is that you are wondering does having orthodontist checkup really helps? If so, then you should know that going to the orthodontist for a checkup provides far more benefits than just having a prettier smile.
During your checkup, the doctor assesses your overall oral health along with the alignment of your bite. They may ask you questions about your lifestyle, past oral health and overall satisfaction with your smile. Once the doctor completes the assessment, they will talk to you about your options.
In some cases, you may find that there are issues with your teeth alignment that you were unaware of. For example, a mild crossbite may not be immediately noticeable, but it could cause problems for you later on in life. Alternatively, teeth that mildly overlap may not be obvious if they are in the back, but they serve as food traps and leave you at greater risk for tooth decay.
Visiting the orthodontist also helps you to understand all of your options to improve your smile. Since technology is constantly changing how crooked teeth are treated, you may find that there is now an option for treatment that you never knew about. For example, clear plastic aligner trays allow you to straighten your teeth faster without having to stop eating your favorite foods.
Once you start treatment, you need to continue to visit the orthodontic office for checkups so that you will benefit from precise and personalized care. During your checkup, minor adjustments can be made to your treatment plan that help you love your smile. As your teeth begin to shift into place, you also enjoy the benefit of finally being free from the discomfort and embarrassment that having misaligned teeth caused.
When Is the Right Time to Visit Your Orthodontist?
In most cases, the child should have their first visit to the orthodontist around the time that they turn seven. At this point, most of the adult teeth have grown in and the doctor can get a good idea of how the final smile should turn out. Going for a checkup at this early age also helps young children get acquainted with the doctor so that they feel more comfortable during future visits.
Keep in mind that this initial visit does not necessarily mean that your child will start treatment. In some cases, the doctor will recommend coming back for another visit when more teeth have grown in. However, they may also decide to talk to you about what are the benefits you may get when you visit your orthodontist regularly for treatment. Either way, this initial visit paves the way for a lifetime of better oral health.
If you or your child did not go for a checkup at the age of seven, then you can rest assured that it is still not too late to begin orthodontic treatment. People often wait for the first visit for many different reasons, and your orthodontist can still help you enjoy a successful outcome.
Does Having Orthodontist Checkup Really Help?
Going for a checkup absolutely helps you to achieve a better smile. It also helps you to improve your oral hygiene since having teeth that are perfectly spaced apart makes it easier to brush and floss. If you struggle with pain in your jaw, headaches or other TMJ symptoms, then the realization that you have a plan to fix the problem is a major relief.
What Information Should You Provide During Your Checkup?
A visual inspection of your mouth can only reveal so much. For this reason, you need to be prepared to also share some information about your current comfort level with your smile and lifestyle. For instance, your doctor may choose a different type of teeth straightening method depending upon factors such as whether or not you play sports, perform in public or prefer to be able to eat what you want.
Your orthodontist also needs to know about how your teeth affect you. For example, mentioning that you grind your teeth at night could indicate that you have an improper bite. Alternatively, telling your doctor that you only smile with your mouth closed lets them know how bad having crooked teeth bothers you. Our orthodontist is always understanding and being honest lets them help you make the right decisions.
Can a Checkup Show If You Need Braces?
An orthodontic checkup is designed to help you determine if you need treatment. While braces are one of the most popular ways that we treat crooked teeth, there are other types of treatment that we may use depending upon your personal needs. For instance, a retainer may be necessary to correct teeth that have started to wander to their old positions after orthodontic treatment. Alternatively, you may need a special type of braces that go on the back of your teeth called sublingual braces.
What Other Times Should You See Your Orthodontist?
Your first checkup should be considered as a new beginning for better oral health. If you do not need treatment right away, then you will need to return for a checkup as changes happen in your mouth. For instance, losing a tooth could require you to be checked again. Those who do begin treatment will be given a plan that lets you know how often you need to go for checkups and adjustments.
Have you decided that it is time for an orthodontic checkup? Give our office a call, and we’ll set you up with the right time to improve your smile.
What is the Right Time for an Orthodontist Checkup?
201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.
I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.