There was a time not too long ago when orthodontic care was considered mainly a “teen thing,” but today, that’s changed. Now, plenty of adults seek orthodontic treatment, too. That’s because more adults are beginning to recognize the importance of having a beautiful smile, both in terms of how they appear to themselves and also how they appear to others. After all, your smile gets a lot of attention — and it can have a big effect on the impression you make on others. When your smile is confident, attractive and well cared for, it just makes sense that your self-esteem is improved, too. Plus, braces and other orthodontics from a Peoria orthodontist just might improve your oral health, too — a benefit that can last a lifetime.
At our Peoria, AZ, practice, we offer complete orthodontic care for patients of all ages, including clear aligners and traditional and clear braces, so you have lots of options when it comes to getting the beautiful smile of your dreams. If you’ve been wondering if orthodontics could help you reach your health and wellness goals, here’s what you need to know about orthodontic treatment at Dunn Orthodontics.
What problems can an Peoria orthodontist treat?
Orthodontists specialize in problems affecting the positions of your teeth and your bite alignment. In fact, the word “orthodontist” means “straighten teeth.” At Dunn Orthodontics, our team treats both simple and complex orthodontic issues, including problems like:
- Gaps or other spacing problems
- Open bites
- Crooked teeth
- Teeth that emerge out of alignment (like a tooth that comes in too high)
- Problems affecting the way you bite (your “bite mechanics”)
Many patients have a combination of issues, and we can tailor a treatment plan that’s just for them.
How does poor alignment affect my oral health?
When your teeth are crooked, crowded or out of alignment, your oral health could be affected in different ways.
- Crooked, crowded teeth are harder to keep clean with brushing and flossing. The tools we use — toothbrushes and floss or flossers — are designed to clean between teeth that are evenly spaced and ideally aligned. When we have odd angles or crevices, it’s a lot harder to keep our teeth and gums clean and healthy. That means we can be at greater risks for cavities and gum disease, the top cause of tooth loss among adults. Straightening your teeth and your bite can make it lots easier to care for your teeth between visits, so you can enjoy better oral health.
- With a poor bite alignment, your teeth don’t “match up” the way they’re supposed to. That puts extra strain and pressure on your jaw joints. Over time, that added strain can lead to inflammation inside the joints, along with recurrent headaches, chronic jaw pain and a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Plus, poor alignment results in uneven tooth wear, which in turn can lead to cracks, breaks and cavities.
Orthodontics can address these issues, as well as give you a great-looking smile.
Are mail-order aligners a good treatment option?
No. Orthodontic treatment might seem simple and straightforward, mainly because all you see are the tops of your teeth gradually moving into position. But under your gums, your tooth roots are moving, too, and the bone around them is constantly remodeling itself to adjust to those movements. That means when you have orthodontics, you’re not just moving your teeth into optimal positions — you’re altering your jaw bone shape, as well. The benefits of orthodontics last a lifetime. But that also means that when a problem develops and is left untreated, it can cause a major issue with your long-term oral health. When you opt for a mail-order aligner system, your care is pretty much on you. You don’t see an Peoria orthodontist for regular checkups, and that means there’s no way to spot problems — and correct them — early on. Realigning your bite is important for your appearance, your confidence and your oral health — it’s not an issue you should leave to a DIY product. You need the care of a skilled orthodontist to ensure you get the results you want, without the added risks that go along with a do-it-yourself kit.
Am I too old to see a Peoria orthodontist?
Good news: You’re never too old to see a Peoria orthodontist or to have orthodontic treatment, including braces and aligners. For older adults, the primary consideration is your oral health — specifically, we want to be sure your teeth and jaws are healthy enough to accommodate the movements associated with braces and aligners. As long as your teeth and jaw bone are in good health, you can have the same type of orthodontic treatment as teens and preteens — and enjoy the same benefits, too.
When should my child visit the orthodontist?
While many people think of orthodontic care beginning during the preteen or teen years, the American Association of Orthodontists says children ideally should have their first orthodontist visit when they’re much younger — by age seven. Why? Because age seven is when most children start to lose their baby teeth and adult teeth begin to emerge. It’s also a time when the jaw is experiencing rapid growth. Seeing a Peoria orthodontist when your child is young means many problems can be identified and treated early, using techniques called interventional orthodontics. Early treatment can help prevent or lessen many problems with spacing and alignment, and it can also decrease the amount of time your child will need to wear braces. In some instances, your child might be able to avoid wearing braces or aligners entirely.
Of course, while it’s recommended to see a Peoria orthodontist by the time your child reaches age seven, if your child is already older, that doesn’t mean it’s too late. Plenty of kids see the orthodontist for the first time when they’re in their preteens and teens. The key is to schedule a visit right away so treatment can begin (and finish) as soon as possible.
Schedule your visit at our top-rated Peoria, Arizona, practice
At Dunn Orthodontics, our entire team is invested in the success of your orthodontic care. We’ll use the most advanced techniques and treatment options to customize your treatment, so you can feel confident you’ll get the best results — and a great-looking smile. To learn more about orthodontics and how they can help you, schedule a consultation today.