Orthodontists provide treatment options that transform smiles all over the world. Knowing when to visit an orthodontist, however, can be a crucial step in the orthodontic treatment process. Hoagburg Orthodontics provides a variety of treatment options for orthodontic problems, including early orthodontic care and adult orthodontic treatment.
Regardless of age, you may consider visiting an orthodontist if you detect certain orthodontic problems in yourself or a loved one. Issues may include the following conditions:
- Difficulty biting, chewing, or speaking
- Protruding teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Overbites or underbites
If left untreated, these common orthodontic problems, or malocclusions, may increase in severity, resulting in injury or wearing down of the teeth and jaw.
In addition to these orthodontic issues, there are several, less-obvious indicators that orthodontic treatment may be necessary. The following are examples of symptoms that indicate an underlying orthodontic issue that needs to be addressed:
- Mouth breathing
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Inability to comfortable close lips
- Shifting or “popping” of the jaw
- Frequently biting your cheek or roof of your mouth
If you or a loved one notice any of the above symptoms, contact our orthodontist in Fort Wayne to set up a free consultation!
Early Orthodontic Treatment
According to the American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO), your child should have an orthodontic examination by the time he or she is 7 years old. This age is ideal for a number of reasons. In general, this is the age when your child has a mix of both adult (permanent) and temporary (baby) teeth. This means that your children’s orthodontist can confidently determine whether or not your child’s mouth will have enough room to accommodate permanent teeth. Early orthodontic examinations do not necessarily mean your child will start treatment at age 7. On average, most children don’t begin the process of early orthodontic treatment until ages 9-14.
Additionally, early evaluations can catch orthodontic issues early on. For example, a palatal expander is an orthodontic appliance that can effectively treat a child’s crossbite (a condition where the upper teeth close inside the lower ones). If used at a young age, this treatment may be sufficient to correct the problem, because your child’s jaw is still growing. However, if left untreated, oral surgery could later be required to correct a more serious condition.
According to the AAO, around one in five orthodontic patients today is an adult. Just like children, adults deserve a smile they are proud of! While we highly encourage early orthodontic treatment, orthodontics can be successful at any age.
The major concern voiced by adults is how orthodontic treatment will affect their appearance or image. Hoagburg Orthodontics proudly offers a variety of braces options, allowing you to pick a form of treatment that best fits you and your lifestyle. If you don’t want traditional braces for example, we offer less noticeable options, such as lingual braces, Invisalign, and ceramic-bracket braces. Regardless of which braces option you select, orthodontic treatment will have a lasting effect on how your smile looks and functions.