While a general dentist can help you improve your oral health, an orthodontist’s care goes further. It’s a more specialized medical service.
An orthodontist helps with straightening teeth, correcting overbites and underbites, or fixing any problems with your jaw that need to be corrected. You may need to do an initial check-up with your regular dentist before getting a referral to an orthodontist.
Here are some more good reasons it is important to see an orthodontist:
1. Helping With Braces for Children and Adults
An orthodontist is instrumental in determining when it is the right age for a child or young adult to get braces. As a dental patient, you may have to undergo a long process of straightening treatments.
For example, if you or your children experience teeth crowding (too many teeth growing at one time), it is a good idea to get a consultation and have the orthodontist monitor the teeth growth. This way, they can tell you when the problem has to be corrected — whether it requires pulling teeth, or wearing braces or retainers.
2. Monitoring the Straight Growth of Adult Teeth
In the case where you or your children need teeth extracted, an orthodontist’s role is important. The straightening process of new or even existing teeth can often be painful. It’s always essential to have a specialized doctor looking after your teeth during these crucial stages.
Children often need more dental visits than adults, but this also depends on the individual. Your orthodontist will know how to best treat you, whether you’re getting braces or doing follow-up work.
3. Fixing Broken Wires or Brackets
There are a few foods that may be off-limits when you get braces. They are the ones that risk damaging the brackets and wires — for example, hard candies, pizza crusts, or tiny seeds and sticky gum that tend to get stuck between the wires.
Brackets and wires aren’t break-proof. On occasion, your braces could break without you knowing. If it happens to your child, it must be repaired right away. This is why it is necessary to continue your scheduled follow-up visits with the orthodontist.
4. Tracking Your Progress and Adjusting Your Braces
When your teeth start to grow straighter, it’s essential that they progress in the desired way. An orthodontist will also know whether the teeth are growing at the ideal rate.
They will know whether the treatment has been effective and if your teeth are moving too fast or too slow comparatively. But consistent tracking is key. Never miss a scheduled appointment, so that you can also be aware of your teeth’s progress.
5. Getting Retainers
Wearing a retainer is one way of helping to keep the teeth in the right position. But after your fitting for the retainer, you still need to visit the orthodontist over the space of a few months to ensure that the retainer is doing its job.
6. Getting Checked to Minimize Overcrowding
Overcrowding is a common occurrence when your wisdom teeth start to come in. you may have to see your orthodontist to find out whether you need any teeth extracted. However, at times you may not even notice if your wisdom teeth are growing yet.
Regular checkups ensure that you don’t catch the problem of overcrowding too late. This can save you a lot of pain in the long run! You may not even have to extract any teeth if your orthodontist is able to catch and remedy the problem early on.
7. Guarding Against Tooth Decay
Brushing and flossing are all necessary parts of oral hygiene. But if you need to wear braces or retainers, it’s even more vital. Food tends to get stuck between the brackets, leading to tooth decay or gum disease. An orthodontist can provide you with special cleaning tools and also advise you on the best way to care for your teeth and braces during this process.
If maintenance treatment is delayed or even ignored altogether, it can lead to more painful problems. Gum disease can affect your entire body’s health system very negatively and lead to more serious disease. It can cause a weakening and infection deep within your bones, which will be harder to heal. Neglect is also one of the main causes of tooth loss and decay.
8. Professional Consultation
Even if you feel your dental state is not terrible, it never hurts to have a professional medical consultation. Perhaps you have a family history of jaw problems or tooth issues. Your orthodontist can then help you take preventative measures against future problems.
If you visit your general dentist first, they can refer you to a trusted orthodontist who will be able to take it from there. You then embark on a new journey to better health, but with a professional coach to keep you in check and ensure that everything goes as planned.
To schedule an appointment call us at (561) 408-2972. We’re happy to help you on the road to great oral health!