Posted on May 23, 2022
Did you know that your teeth are the only part of your body that can’t repair themselves?
And naturally, you only get two sets of them that should just last your entire life. Seems like a bad deal, doesn’t it? So what are you supposed to do when they don’t pop out all straight and perfect?
Apart from obvious problems with aesthetics, teeth misalignment also causes practical problems. This includes difficulty chewing and talking plus the potential blow to your mental health.
Lucky for you, modern medicine is on your side.
Now that we have access to quality orthodontic care, the challenge is choosing the right one. To make that choice less challenging, keep reading!
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that specializes in treating malocclusions. The word comes from the Greek word “ortho” meaning straight or correct, and “odont” meaning teeth. So simply, it’s straightening misaligned teeth.
You might encounter the term “malocclusions” floating around in the orthodontics sphere. It’s simply the clinical term for misaligned teeth. A “bad bite,” so to speak.
Some common types of dental malocclusions include:
It’s normal to have some overlap of the lower front teeth. Increased overbite is when the upper front teeth extend further than the lower front teeth. In severe cases, the upper teeth could be biting into the lower gums or, the lower teeth into the roof of the mouth.
Overjet is a horizontal misalignment where the upper front teeth diagonally protrude against the lower front teeth. This affects your appearance, biting, chewing, drinking, and may also cause jaw pains.
Underbite refers to the condition where the lower front teeth extend further than the upper front teeth. This typically occurs due to the misalignment of the jaw.
Open bite is when the upper teeth and lower teeth do not meet. This can occur both in the front or sides of the mouth.
Crossbite pertains to one or lower teeth protruding past the upper teeth. It typically happens when your teeth don’t align properly with a closed mouth.
Diastema is the technical term for gap teeth. This is when there’s space between two adjacent teeth, usually the front teeth.
Hypodontia is the technical term for the developmental lack of one or more teeth. Not including the wisdom teeth, of course.
Unfortunately—although normal—not everyone is born with those perfect ortho teeth. From smiling to eating, the importance of properly aligned teeth needs no further explanation. Quality orthodontic care is highly beneficial for most and necessary for others.
Malocclusion causes are anything from genetics to bad habits. When left untreated, it can lead to many problems affecting all aspects of your life.
Problems caused by malocclusions include:
Since malocclusion is a developmental condition, orthodontic treatment is best provided to younger patients. Orthodontic care is critical for children to stay on top of progressive dental problems. If you have kids, it’s best to get in touch with a family orthodontist while they’re still young.
It turns out there are a lot of scary ways your teeth can perform dental gymnastics. So you might be wondering what orthodontic treatments are available for these malocclusions.
You know the classic wire and brackets braces. They now have more discrete modern variations like ceramic or clear braces.
There’s the option of removable appliances like aligners. You’ve likely heard of Invisalign by now.
For more extreme cases, external pressure from the outside of the mouth is necessary. This is when your orthodontist might turn to headgear.
You’re aware of the different types and severities of malocclusions. Well, some might not be receptive to less invasive treatments. Corrective surgery might be necessary, such as teeth extraction, to ease overcrowding.
If you already have regular dental care, your dentist will know if you need orthodontic care. The medical industry works together to look out for your best interest. So, in cases where you need specialized attention a dentist can’t provide, they will recommend you to a specialist.
Both dentists and orthodontists help maintain and achieve optimum oral health.
Of course, dentistry is broader. Dentists diagnose and treat teeth, gums, nerves, and jaws. When dealing with malocclusions, they can recommend patients to an orthodontist.
Orthodontists, on the other hand, specialize in fixing misalignments. Their specific training gives them access to procedures and devices unique to their field.
As mentioned, your dentist can point you in the right direction.
Another layer of assurance you can give yourself is doing your own research. And we don’t mean a slapdash Google search. Always aim to be thorough with orthodontics as its impacts will last you a lifetime.
If you’re in the Idaho area, for example, looking up “Idaho orthodontist” might be a good place to start. However, always branch out from there. Look for a state-acclaimed and verified orthodontic clinic that’s right for you!
A foolproof checklist for finding the right orthodontic care provider includes:
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that parents get a general, orthodontic examination for their kids as early as the age of seven. Your parents never got around to getting you one?
No worries, it’s never too late to schedule an exam. There are many orthodontic problems that only occur at certain ages. Hence, orthodontists have no problem treating across the age spectrum.
Some clinics even offer free consultations. If the journey can start for free, then all the best.
Orthodontic care goes beyond making sure your smile is right. It also makes sure you look and feel good while doing it.
Do you want to bring out your best smile? Experience the Guymon difference here! Contact us today to get the best quality orthodontic care as well as get a free consultation.