7 Warning Signs That It’s Time to Seek Orthodontic Services

By Mike Mills
Orthodontic Services

Do you have a tween or teen that is beginning to show signs of teeth being misaligned? Maybe you have issues smiling as big as you want to because of your wonky, uneven teeth? Either way, it could be time to talk to an orthodontic professional about how they can help.

Orthodontic services are well known for their high costs and long, painful treatments, but things are changing. There are so many new options available as well as financing choices. You’ll find it’s not something you need to fear at all.

Below are some warning signs to look for that can clue you in on whether you should make an orthodontic appointment today.

1. Crowded Teeth

Crowded teeth are one of the most obvious and common reasons people go to an orthodontist. It’s easy to notice and not usually a desired look. This isn’t just a superficial problem, though. You can have difficulty chewing, speaking, and cleaning your teeth too. Many people with crowded teeth have substantial tooth decay and/or gum disease because they can’t seem to clean their teeth in the way they need.

2. Large Gaps Between Your Teeth

Many people dislike the look of a large gap between their teeth, and so they rush to the orthodontist for help. Rightfully so. Your smile is one of the first things someone sees when they meet you. If you are always thinking about how unpleasant your smile is, your confidence can suffer.

Significant gaps in your teeth are a problem that your orthodontist treats every day. Closing these gaps can improve your smile but also help protect the gum tissue that is now prone to plaque, inflammation, and infection. It can also help align your jaw better. It sounds like a win, win!

3. Overbite or Underbite

If you or your teen has an overlap of teeth either on the top (overbite) or bottom (underbite), you will want to see an orthodontist. When you have one of these issues, it can cause early wear and tear on certain teeth as well as painful popping in the jaw, difficulty chewing, and more. By aligning your jaw and teeth better, this can be corrected.

4. Protruding Teeth

It can be rough living with protruding teeth! It’s a blow on the self-esteem and can be a dental health risk as well. If your teeth are protruding from your mouth, they are prone to be hit and possibly knocked out or damaged.

Protruding teeth can result from genetics, thumb-sucking as a child, missing or extra teeth, and tongue thrusting. The great news is that all of this is fixable with practiced procedures in place. Orthodontists are trained to care for dental concerns like this.

5. Speech Issues

You may not initially think about speech issues being an orthodontic problem, but it definitely can be. There are many reasons someone may have difficulty speaking clearly or being able to pronounce their words accurately. If you notice your child or even teen is having problems with their speech. It may be worth making an appointment with an orthodontic specialist to ensure it’s not a problem with misaligned teeth. An overbite or gap in the teeth is the most common orthodontic speech issue that occurs.

6. Constantly Getting Food Trapped Between Your Teeth

If you or your child is constantly getting food trapped between your teeth, you probably have some overcrowded teeth and need to visit an orthodontist. Fixing this problem as well as aligning your teeth to look appealing and eye-catching is what your orthodontist does. Getting this problem fixed sooner than later can help preserve the health of your teeth and save you a lot of money and time in dental treatments. As an added bonus, your breath can benefit, making you and your friends happy!

7. Jaw or Mouth Pain

Sometimes you can’t see the orthodontic problems you or your child experience. Orthodontic issues can cause pain and soreness, which you can’t see at all. If you experience jaw or mouth pain fairly consistently or hear popping kinds of noises when you open and close your mouth, you should make an appointment sooner than later to find out what could be going on. An orthodontist is highly trained to find out what the root cause of your pain is. Don’t live with annoying and possibly exhausting jaw or mouth pain when there is help available.

What’s Next?

You may have one or more of the dental issues listed above. Maybe, you’ve been living with it for years, or perhaps you are just noticing some worrisome areas of your teen’s teeth alignment. Either way, orthodontists are here to help. Orthodontists have special training to guide you through planning, treating, and caring for your beautiful smile.

As for the cost, many people find it surprising that their braces or other dental therapy are covered by their dental insurance, at least partially. Make sure to give your insurance a call to discuss what is covered and what other expenses you could be looking at before receiving dental treatment. That way, there will be no surprises part way through your treatment.

Most dental offices also have some financing options available for families and individuals. You’ll soon find that this is an investment you won’t regret making for years to come.

The only way to know if you do or don’t need orthodontic services is to see a professional and get their recommendation. Your orthodontist will help you make decisions about your unique situation, and as a team, you can make a treatment plan that is right for you and your family. Education is vital, so don’t be afraid to ask questions until you are comfortable moving forward.

Take the time to invest in yourself or your teen. A beautiful smile can bring confidence and conviction like nothing else. If you see signs that your smile needs some TLC, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with an orthodontist near you.

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