When Should You See an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a type of specialist who deals mainly with the alignment of the jaw and teeth. He or she works with patients to diagnose and treat issues such as overbites, cross bites, abnormal eruptions, and excessive spacing between teeth. Unlike regular dentists, you generally don’t go to an orthodontist unless you are in need of his or her services and are referred by your regular dentist. There are some occasions when this will occur, though. Here are a few of the times you will need to see one of these dental specialists.

You Have Difficulty Biting or Chewing

If you’re having trouble biting into your food or chewing it, it could indicate that something is off with the alignment of your jaw. This is especially true if you have no pain in your mouth and don’t have any other issue that your dentist can identify. You may also want to see an orthodontist if you can bite but don’t seem to be able to do so as forcefully as you once did.

Your Speech Is Changing

If you find that it’s becoming harder for you to speak, you may also have an alignment issue of some kind. Many of the sounds we make depend on the position of the tongue, jaw, lips, and teeth. If something is slowly moving out of alignment, you may first notice it in how your speech sounds.

You’re Young

Experts recommend that parents take young children to see an orthodontist when they are around seven years old. This is about the time a child begins to lose his or her baby teeth. An orthodontist will examine the child to make certain that his or her adult teeth are going to erupt as they should.

A regular dentist may not have the expertise to tell if a child is going to have orthodontic problems at such a young age because there is a lot of variety in how teeth develop in children. An experienced Melbourne orthodontist will be able to tell if there’s enough room for the child’s permanent teeth to grow in correctly. Many orthodontic issues are much easier to correct if they are diagnosed and treated early.

Your Teeth Are Not Straight

Do you hate how your teeth don’t seem to be aligned correctly? Having slightly misaligned teeth may not directly affect your bite or your speech, but it can make you feel self-conscious. If you hate how your smile looks, an orthodontist can work with you to correct any spacing or alignment problems. Some people assume that because they’re older that it’s too late for any corrective treatments, but that’s not true. More and more adults are going to orthodontists for alignment solutions.

One reason for this is because of new technology and treatment options. Some adults find the idea of wearing braces or other identifiable orthodontic devices to be embarrassing or unprofessional. However, there are now a number of different techniques that are much less noticeable but work just as well or even better.

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