Seeing an orthodontist might seem like a rite of passage for teens and preteens, but the fact is, people of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment — not just to improve the way their smiles look, but to improve their oral health, as well. As a top Phoenix orthodontist, Dunn Orthodontics offers complete orthodontic care, including braces and aligners for teens and adults. And the best part: Your results can last for the rest of your life. If you’ve been dreaming of a more beautiful smile, here’s what you should know about the orthodontic care we provide at Dunn Orthodontics.
What does an orthodontist do?
An orthodontist’s job is right in their title: “ortho” means straight and “dontist” means tooth. So, the primary job of an orthodontist is to provide state-of-the-art care to help straighten your teeth and align your bite. Today, that might mean traditional or clear braces, removable aligners like Invisalign, or interventional treatments performed during childhood to correct serious problems before they occur.
Most people think of orthodontics as a cosmetic dentistry treatment, and for sure, having straighter teeth can dramatically improve the way your smile looks — and the way you feel about your smile and your teeth in general. But giving you a lifetime of beautiful smiles is just part of what orthodontics is all about. By straightening and aligning your teeth, your Phoenix orthodontist can also help improve your oral health and treat problems with your bite mechanics.
First, having your teeth straightened might just reduce your risk for painful cavities and prevent the need for fillings and root canals. How? By making it easier for you to keep them clean. Brushing and flossing are techniques that work best when your teeth are straight and evenly spaced. When your teeth are crooked or crowded, it’s a lot harder for your toothbrush and floss to get where they need to be to remove food particles, plaque and bacteria. Over time, sticky plaque can form hard tartar deposits, a main cause of gum disease and adult tooth loss. Bacteria and the acids they produce cause tooth decay and deep infections. By straightening your teeth, brushing and flossing ”work” better, so you can keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy between routine dentist visits.
That’s one way orthodontics may improve your oral health. Aligning your bite is another way. When your teeth and bite are poorly aligned, it puts a lot of extra strain on your jaw every time you bite and chew. Eventually, that excess strain leads to inflammation inside the joint. Over time, you can develop chronic jaw discomfort, frequent headaches and a painful condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Plus, poor alignment causes uneven wear on your teeth, increasing your risks for cavities, cracks and tooth breakage. Realigning your bite so your upper and lower teeth meet the way they’re supposed to helps balance your bite and relieve strain on your jaws and teeth.
What kinds of problems does a Phoenix orthodontist treat?
As a leading orthodontics practice in Phoenix, AZ, our team offers a variety of advanced treatment options to correct problems like:
- Open bites
- Poor alignment
- Crooked teeth
- Teeth that are twisted or sideways
- Bite-related problems
Plus, since we offer custom treatments tailored to your needs, we can treat complex issues that involve multiple problems, so you can get the best treatment for optimal results.
When should my child visit the Phoenix orthodontist?
Many kids don’t see the orthodontist for the first time until they’re 11 or 12 years old, and some don’t have their first visit until they’re in their teens. But the American Association of Orthodontists says children should have their first visit at a much younger age — ideally by the time they turn seven. That’s about the time when their baby teeth start to fall out and their adult or permanent teeth begin to emerge. And it’s also the best time to spot crowding problems and alignment issues before they become more serious. At this age, the Phoenix orthodontist might be able to recommend interventional treatments like spacers or expanders. These treatments can help “short circuit” major issues, so your child may be able to shorten the time they need to wear braces later — and in some cases, they might be able to avoid braces entirely. Of course, if your child is past ages even, that doesn’t mean it’s too late. The important thing is to bring them in as soon as possible, so we can begin their treatment and get them started on a lifetime of gorgeous smiles.
Are mail-order aligners the same as seeing an orthodontist?
No. In fact, many states are establishing strict laws to protect consumers who opt for teledentistry options and mail-order aligner systems. That’s because having your teeth and bite straightened is not a DIY process. It involves moving the entire tooth — from tip to root — and remodeling your jaw bone in the process. The results you get will affect not just your smile, but your bite mechanics and your overall oral health for the rest of your life. Seeing a Phoenix orthodontist means your treatment will be mapped out for your unique needs right from the start — and by seeing your orthodontist regularly, you can feel confident your treatment will stay on track, even if your oral health needs change. Plus, if problems do arise or you have questions or concerns, our team is just a phone call away.
Dunn Orthodontics: Top-ranked orthodontics practice in Phoenix, AZ
Having your teeth straightened and aligned can improve your life in dramatic ways, giving you a more beautiful smile and potentially improving your oral health. Plus, today’s braces and clear aligner systems like Invisalign are designed to be more comfortable and work faster than the orthodontics your parents and grandparents may have had. If you’re interested in orthodontic treatment for yourself or for your child, our team is ready to help. To schedule your consultation, give us a call at 602-864-0004 and book an appointment today.