Desert Ridge Orthodontist

Desert Ridge Orthodontist

If you have crooked teeth, crowded teeth or bite alignment problems, seeing a Desert Ridge orthodontist is one of the wisest things you can do to protect your oral health, both now and in the future. That’s true if you’re having symptoms like chronic jaw pain, tooth grinding or other jaw-related issues. Why? Because an orthodontist does more than make your smile look great. Orthodontic treatment may also correct and even prevent more serious problems like tooth damage, cavities, tooth loss, gum disease and a painful condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Today, more people than ever before are having orthodontic treatment, including teens and adults. That’s because now more than ever, the benefits of orthodontics are better understood — and better recognized as more than “just” a cosmetic treatment. At Dunn Orthodontics, we offer state-of-the-art orthodontics for preteens, teens and adults in Desert Ridge, AZ, helping every patient get a great-looking smile while also providing care that may help them enjoy a lifetime of better oral health.

How does orthodontics work?

When many people think of orthodontics, they think of treatments that help people get straight teeth and gorgeous, healthy-looking smiles. But orthodontics does more than that. Your Desert Ridge orthodontist is skilled in evaluating your teeth, jaws and bite pattern to identify issues that could affect your smile and your oral health. That starts by optimizing your bite mechanics.

Your teeth are designed to work in pairs — upper teeth “meshing” with lower teeth. Not only does this create the pleasing aesthetics of a beautiful smile, but it also ensures your jaws work the way they’re supposed to, without creating excess strain on the jaw joints. It’s this strain that can lead to headaches, jaw pain, tooth grinding, excess tooth wear, tooth breakage and even TMJ. Most orthodontic treatments use braces or aligners to shift teeth into their ideal positions over time. In young patients, other “interventional” treatments may be used to prevent problems before they even occur.

And there are other oral health benefits, too. Caring for straight, evenly-spaced, properly aligned teeth is a lot easier than brushing and flossing teeth that are crooked or crowded. When teeth are poorly aligned, crevices and crannies form that can catch food particles and bacteria. Over time, an accumulation of bacteria, plaque and tartar increases your risks of cavities, gum disease and tooth loss. By straightening your teeth and aligning your bite, your brushing and flossing routines work a lot more effectively at keeping your teeth and gums healthy. That means not only could you avoid more serious dental problems, but your teeth cleaning appointments could be a lot more comfortable, too.

What kinds of problems does a Desert Ridge orthodontist treat?

Desert Ridge orthodontists are skilled in treating many types of problems that affect tooth position and bite alignment. Some of the most common issues include:

  • Overcrowding
  • Gapped teeth or other uneven spacing issues
  • Teeth that are “out of line,” like a tooth that’s emerged too high in the gum
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Open bites
  • Crooked teeth
  • Problems affecting jaw function

Our team customizes each treatment plan based on the individual patient’s unique needs. That means you can feel confident your treatment plan will be optimized for you, so you can count on getting the results you want, regardless of the corrections you need.

When should my child visit the orthodontist for the first time?

Many people think the best time to see an orthodontist is when a child is a preteen or teen. But actually, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends children visit an orthodontist at a much younger age — ideally by the time they reach their seventh birthday. When a child is seven, their baby teeth are just starting to be replaced by adult or permanent teeth, and this is when it’s easiest to spot crowding and alignment problems in their very early stages. And since this is also a time when the jaw is growing rapidly, it’s also an ideal time to begin interventional treatment that may help reduce the amount of time your child needs to wear braces or aligners later on. Sometimes, interventional treatment can avoid the need for braces entirely. Plus, by seeing a Desert Ridge orthodontist when your child is young, you (and your child) have time to plan for future treatment, and your child also has a chance to feel comfortable and relaxed in the orthodontist’s office. Of course, many children see an orthodontist for the first time after their seventh birthday, and that’s OK, too. The most important thing is to schedule an evaluation at our Desert Ridge practice as soon as possible.

Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

There’s no “expiration date” when it comes to orthodontic treatment, and in fact, millions of adults get braces or aligners every year, including men and women in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. The bottom line: As long as your teeth and jaws are healthy and strong enough to respond well to the movements caused by braces or aligners, you can have orthodontic treatment and enjoy all the benefits it offers.

Are mail-order aligners a good substitute for in-person orthodontic treatment?

No. Orthodontic treatment is a medical treatment that can affect your bite mechanics for the rest of your life. Aligners (and braces) work by moving your teeth all the way down to the roots. As the roots move, the jaw bone around them needs to remodel itself to accommodate those movements. Having a Desert Ridge orthodontist oversee treatment is critical to ensuring your teeth are protected and your treatment is a success, and that’s one big reason why it’s so important to have those regular office visits. Not only can we adjust your treatment to your needs, but we can also spot potential issues — and correct them — before they become major problems. Teledentistry options leave you on your own when it comes to your care, which means you could be left with serious issues when your treatment is complete.

Visit your top-rated Desert Ridge orthodontist

As a leading orthodontics practice in Desert Ridge, Arizona, our team has the skills and experience to provide state-of-the-art care that’s focused on your unique needs and goals. If you’d like to learn how orthodontics can help you enjoy a lifetime of beautiful smiles — and better oral health, too — give us a call at 602-864-0004 and book an appointment today.