When to See an Orthodontist

Did you know that around 33% of American adults are unhappy with their smiles? Having crooked teeth can affect a person’s self-confidence, health, and the first impression they leave on other people. 

One of the best ways to fix crooked teeth is to visit an orthodontist. Orthodontists are a type of dentist that specializes in correcting and preventing issues with teeth and jaw alignment. 

What are some common signs that you need to make an orthodontist appointment? Keep reading to learn when to see an orthodontist. 

Crooked Teeth

One of the most common signs that you need to visit an orthodontist is having crooked teeth. If you can tell that your teeth are crooked, you could benefit from orthodontic care

If you have crooked teeth, your regular dentist will suggest that you visit the orthodontist. Once you get a referral to an orthodontist, you can go for your initial appointment.

During the appointment, the orthodontist will examine your teeth and determine a treatment plan. Keep in mind that even if your teeth don’t seem crooked, they still could be. If you are unsure, ask your dentist. 

Crowded Teeth

Another common sign that you need to set up a first orthodontist appointment for you or your child is teeth overcrowding. When your jaw is too small, all your teeth won’t fit in your mouth. 

This will leave your teeth competing for space, causing them to be crooked, grow in strange places, or twist. Having a crowded mouth can lead to difficulty speaking, chewing, pain, and tooth decay. 

When you have crowded teeth, it is much harder to keep them clean. You may not be able to reach all areas of your mouth with a toothbrush, and flossing between your teeth can be impossible. 

If you have crowded teeth, you should set up an appointment right away to prevent further damage to your teeth. 

Gaps in Your Teeth

While some people have tooth overcrowding, others have gaps between their teeth. Having gaps in your teeth makes it difficult to eat and speak. Gaps in your teeth can also make you more likely to develop gum disease. 

Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to bad breath, painful gums, tooth loss, and bone loss. If found and treated early, your dentist can help you manage gum disease. 

While gum disease is manageable, it is best to prevent it. If you have gaps in your teeth, talk to an orthodontist about closing those gaps. Not only will fixing your gaps prevent diseases, but it also will improve your smile. 

Bad Breath 

If you have bad breath that doesn’t go away when you brush your teeth, that could be a sign that you need to visit the orthodontist. Bad breath is caused by plaque buildup on your teeth, gum disease, or not brushing your teeth. 

While your first stop for bad breath should be your regular dentist, they may refer you to an orthodontist if you have crooked teeth. When you have crooked teeth, it makes it harder to keep them clean, which results in bad breath. 

Difficulty Chewing 

Do you have a difficult time chewing your food? If so, that is another sign that you need to visit the orthodontist.

Some of the most common causes of chewing problems include gum disease, tooth decay, infection, and misaligned teeth.

Your regular dentist will help rule out any signs of infection or disease and determine if you should see the orthodontist. 

If they recommend you make an orthodontist appointment, make sure you do it to avoid creating more problems in your mouth. 

Speech Problems

When you have crooked teeth, you may have a difficult time speaking. When your teeth are overcrowded, have gaps, or have an overbite, it is hard to make the right sounds needed to speak.

This means that you will be more likely to slur your speech or have a lisp. Having speech problems can make it difficult to communicate and impact self-confidence.

If you are having a hard time speaking, be sure to set up an appointment with your local orthodontist. 

Jaw Pain

Another sign that you need to visit the orthodontist is jaw pain. When you have crooked teeth, they put more pressure on your jaw. Anytime you speak or chew, your jaw may get sore. 

If you don’t fix your crooked teeth, you could end up developing TMJ. TMJ causes pain in your jaw and makes it difficult to open and close your mouth. 

In addition to developing TMJ, crooked teeth can also lead to headaches and sinus issues. Pain from your jaw can radiate into the rest of your face. 

You Don’t Feel Confident in Your Smile

Do your teeth impact your self-confidence? If so, you should set up an orthodontist appointment right away.

Most of the time, your teeth can be easily fixed, so there is no point in allowing them to impact your confidence. 

When you visit the orthodontist, they can suggest treatment plans to improve the appearance of your smile. If you don’t want traditional metal braces, you may be able to get clear braces that no one will notice. 

After wearing your braces for a few months, you will see big changes in your teeth. You no longer will feel insecure when smiling in photos or giving a big work presentation. 

Are You Ready to Set Up an Orthodontist Appointment?

Seeing an orthodontist is a great way to straighten your smile, increase your confidence, and improve your health. If you relate to any of these signs, it is time to set up your first orthodontist appointment. 

Did you enjoy reading this article on when to schedule your first orthodontist visit? If so, check out the lifestyle category for more helpful advice.