6 Signs it’s Time to Visit the Orthodontist

A Person Holding a Teeth Model Early intervention enables you to fix dental issues before they worsen and become potentially irreversible or cause further health issues. Here are some of the signs to look out for that indicate it’s time for a trip to the orthodontist. 

Orthodontic treatment can address a wide range of dental-related issues, including wonky teeth, underbite, overbite, and jaw disorders. Common orthodontic treatments include braces, bands, and retainers.

Knowing when to visit the orthodontist is key for maintaining great oral health. Early intervention enables you to fix dental issues before they worsen and become potentially irreversible or cause further health issues.

Here are some of the signs to look out for that indicate it’s time for a trip to the orthodontist.

Crooked or Wonky Teeth

Crooked teeth can increase the risk of overcrowding, which can be painful to deal with and may negatively impact your ability to chew foods properly. Orthodontic treatments can address wonky teeth or misalignment with braces, aligners, and retainers to prevent further issues.

Difficulty Chewing

Misaligned teeth can cause underbite or overbite, which contributes to potential chewing difficulties (known medically as dysphagia). In some cases, tooth misalignment can also cause difficulty with pronouncing certain words.

An orthodontist can address misalignment of the teeth to improve your chewing and speaking abilities. They will offer personalised dental treatment based on your clinical symptoms and personal preferences.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

If you experience pain, clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when you move your jaw (such as when you’re chewing or yawning), you may have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ can become severe and may cause further oral health problems if untreated.

An orthodontist is able to diagnose TMJ disorders and provide the necessary treatment to alleviate your symptoms and improve the function of your jaw.

Overbite, Underbite, or Crossbite

Issues with your bite can include overbite where the upper teeth extend over the lower teeth, underbite, where the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth, or cross bite, where the upper and lower teeth don’t align properly.

Each of these bite-related issues can impact the appearance of your smile and the function of your jaw, leading to potential eating and speaking difficulties. An orthodontist is trained in treating overbite, underbite, and crossbite, and can offer the most suitable treatment and management options to restore bite alignment.

Family History of Orthodontic Issues

If you have one or more family members who have previously required orthodontic input to fix tooth or jaw issues, you may at a higher risk of development similar problems. Paying close attention to your jaw health will enable you to spot dental issues as soon as they arise and get treatment from your local orthodontist to resolve them quickly.

Regular orthodontic check-ups are also important for preventing, early diagnoses, and effective treatment. Your orthodontist will provide personalised guidance to promote optimal oral health and reduce the risk of you developing issues in the future.

Tooth Decay

Poor oral hygiene practices can accelerate the rate of tooth decay and gum disease (periodontal disease), which may eventually lead to permanent gum recession and tooth loss.

Orthodontic treatment can help to align your teeth properly, reducing the risk of friction between the teeth and subsequent gum loss.

Your orthodontist can also provide expert guidance on how to maintain superior dental hygiene to avoid tooth decay. They may also provide written guidance or patient information leaflets that you can take home with you as a reminder of the best oral hygiene practices for optimal tooth and gum health.

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