Some people seem to be blessed with perfect teeth, and it is natural to love your smile when everything seems to be perfectly straight. You may even take pride in never having had a cavity or always having a bright, white smile. For some people, oral health just seems to be a natural gift, yet you should know that appearance is sometimes deceiving. While going to see an orthodontist may seem unnecessary, scheduling a visit could reveal that you do have issues that need correction.
Understanding The Difference Between Regular Dental and Orthodontic Care
People sometimes confuse dental and orthodontic treatment. After all, both of these types of oral health care involve the mouth. However, they are very different. When you go to your dental office, an exam is conducted to check for cavities and gum disease. While your oral health professional can help screen for problems such as crooked teeth, it takes a trained orthodontist to competently assess your teeth and jaw alignment. Due to these differences, it is completely possible to get a perfect dental checkup with no cavities or gum disease while still having orthodontic problems. Yet, untreated orthodontic problems can eventually lead to dental health issues such as cracked teeth so it is important to recognize how both types of care work together.
Check For Tightly Spaced Teeth
It is possible that what looks like perfectly straight teeth in the mirror could still be a problem. This is because your teeth may have grown in too close together. When this happens, dental issues in the future are a likely probability because tightly spaced teeth create food traps. As you eat, food gets stuck in the tiny spaces between your teeth, and you may struggle with being able to brush and floss properly. In some instances, your teeth may be packed so tightly together that floss cannot get in the space. Creating slightly larger spaces using a treatment such as Invisalign increases the effectiveness of your oral hygiene routine.
Assess Your Bite
While most people can quickly identify a severe over or underbite, it is harder to notice subtle misalignments. These types of incorrect bites can still interfere with your chewing and create wear and tear on your teeth. Bite problems can also affect your appearance without you realizing that they are the cause. For instance, an overbite can make a small chin more obvious, and an underbite can make your chin protrude. Seeking correction for minor bite problems may not drastically alter your appearance, but it can improve both your comfort and how you feel when you look in the mirror.
Screen For Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
A misalignment in the hinge of your jaw is not evident to the average person, yet this condition can eventually lead to severe pain and eating difficulty as you progress in age. At your orthodontic appointment, you will be asked if you experience any symptoms such as grinding, popping and cracking noises when you yawn or speak. You may sometimes experience pain in the jaw area, and headaches can also be linked to TMJ. Although there can be different reasons for having a misaligned jaw hinge, it is often caused by bite issues that can be fixed with braces.
Identify and Correct Bad Oral Habits
People with jaw disorders and misalignments sometimes grind their teeth during the night without being aware of the behavior. Yet, an orthodontic professional can sometimes see evidence of tooth grinding on the surfaces of your teeth. They can also check your child for signs that behaviors such as thumb sucking may be leading to orthodontic issues such as an overbite. An orthodontic evaluation may also be recommended to identify any structural abnormalities that may be interfering with your child’s speech. Although treatments are not always able to completely address speech issues, your child’s orthodontic corrections may help reduce speech impediments while your child works with their therapist. Many people are also unaware that snoring can be related to structural abnormalities within the mouth and jaw, and an orthodontic consultation is often necessary to determine if the treatment might be able to reduce snoring and sleep apnea issues.
Discuss Treatment Options
For children, it is important to visit the orthodontic office around the time your child is seven years of age, even if it is not believed that they have a problem. This is because future issues can sometimes be predicted based on your child’s current mouth structure so that you can begin planning for treatment. As an adult, you may believe that you have managed to get away without getting help for known issues such as a minor underbite. However, talking to a professional helps you understand how treatment in adulthood can prevent more serious problems as you age. You can also discover that there are more treatment options today such as Invisalign that reduce the discomfort and hassle of correcting orthodontic issues. Whether you need just a few months of wearing plastic aligners or a complete set of traditional metal braces, knowing your options lets you make the best decisions regarding your oral health.
Call McDermott Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Appointment
In Minnesota, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael McDermott to learn more about orthodontic treatments that will give you a gorgeous smile. He has four locations where you can visit to have an examination, including:
• Pequot Lakes – 218-568-5600
• Delano – 763-972-4444
• Brainerd – 218-829-1630
• Baxter – 218-829-1630
At McDermott Orthodontics, you can learn more about these orthodontic devices:
• Braces – ceramic, Damon System or metallic
• Aligners – designed using Invisalign software
• AcceleDent Aura – a device that stimulates bone growth
Call us today to schedule your free consultation with our orthodontist.
I Don’t Have Any Dental Problems: Should I Still Visit an Orthodontist?
13046 Falcon Drive
Baxter, MN 56425
Dr. Mike McDermott is an orthodontic specialist in Brainerd, Baxter and Delano MN.