The number of people seeking orthodontic treatment in the U.S. and worldwide is growing, and it’s not just because more and more people want to have beautiful smiles. While orthodontics used to be almost exclusively a treatment for teens and preteens, today more adults are seeking a Scottsdale orthodontist as they realize the lifelong benefits of having straighter teeth and better bite mechanics.
At Dunn Orthodontics, we offer comprehensive orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages — preteens, teens and adults, too. If you’ve been considering orthodontics for yourself or for your child, here’s what you should know about the treatments we provide at our Scottsdale, Arizona, practice.
How can I tell if I should see a Scottsdale orthodontist?
There are some obvious ways to tell if you should have orthodontic treatment. For instance, if your teeth are crooked or if you have an alignment problem like an overbite or underbite, seeing a Scottsdale orthodontist is important for correcting those issues, for both cosmetic and functional reasons. And let’s face it: When you have a beautiful smile, you feel a lot more confident about yourself, your appearance, and the impression you make in professional and social settings.
But while having a great-looking smile is an important reason to see an orthodontist, it’s not the only reason. Having straighter teeth and a properly-aligned bite can help in other ways, too — important ways. First, when your teeth are straight and evenly spaced, they’re easier to keep clean. When your teeth are straight and not crowded, both brushing and flossing work better at getting rid of food particles, plaque and disease-causing bacteria. That means by straightening your teeth, you could dramatically reduce your risks for cavities and gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the U.S.
Orthodontics can also improve your bite mechanics — essentially the way your upper and lower teeth and jaws meet when you close your mouth, chew and even talk. Even a minor alignment problem increases strain and stress on the jaw joint, and over time that can cause serious inflammation. Without care, you can develop temporomandibular joint disorder, a painful condition that can cause jaw pain, headaches and facial pain. Fixing alignment issues and balancing your bite relieves jaw strain, so you can help prevent TMJ and other bite-related problems.
When should my child see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children see a Scottsdale orthodontist by the time they’re seven years old. That might seem young, but there’s a good reason for early visits. Most kids start to lose their baby teeth at around age seven, and adult teeth begin to emerge. That makes it an ideal time to spot crowding and alignment issues before they cause more serious problems. Sometimes, an orthodontist can use “interventional orthodontics” — special treatments like spacers or palate expanders aimed at preventing more serious issues from occurring. Interventional orthodontics can cut down on the time your child needs to wear braces or aligners later — and it may even mean your child can avoid them entirely. Even when interventional orthodontic treatment isn’t necessary, seeing the orthodontist early gives you and your child a chance to plan for care in the future. But if your child is older than seven and they haven’t visited our office, that doesn’t mean it’s too late. Plenty of kids don’t see an orthodontist until they’re in their preteen or even teen years. The bottom line — if your child is seven or older and hasn’t seen a Scottsdale orthodontist, today is a great time to schedule a visit with our team.
What age is “too old” for orthodontic treatment?
You’re never too old for orthodontics! As long as your jaw and teeth are healthy and strong enough to withstand the shifts and movements that occur during treatment, you can have braces of clear aligners — and get all the cosmetic and oral health benefits that go hand-in-hand with orthodontic treatment. Scheduling an office visit with our orthodontic team is the first step toward determining the best course of treatment to help you reach your goals.
What kinds of problems can be corrected by a Scottsdale orthodontist?
As a top Scottsdale orthodontist, we offer an array of orthodontic treatments for problems like:
- Open bites
- Crowded teeth
- Spaces or gaps between teeth
- Crooked teeth, including teeth that are “sideways” or twisted
- Other issues affecting your bite or your smile aesthetics
Our team customizes every orthodontic treatment to help each patient get the best results based on their individual needs.
What happens during treatment?
Every treatment begins with a thorough evaluation to determine the best type of treatment for your smile and bite and to establish an optimal treatment plan to help you reach your goals. Generally, patients see us every four to six weeks for checkups and adjustments during their treatment. Most patients can complete their treatment plans in about 18 to 36 months.
How will orthodontic treatment affect my lifestyle?
That depends on the type of orthodontics you receive, but overall, the biggest adjustments you might expect have to do with the foods you eat and how you care for your teeth during treatment. For instance, patients who have Invisalign won’t have to worry about the foods they eat because they’ll remove their aligners before meals and snacks. They’ll also remove the aligners to brush and floss. With Scottsdale braces, you’ll need to avoid hard or sticky foods to prevent damage to your wires and brackets. You’ll also need to learn a few new techniques for brushing and flossing around your braces. Regardless of the treatment you receive, patients find they adjust pretty quickly to orthodontics — and the lifetime benefits of their treatment far outweigh any temporary adjustments they might have to make.
Custom orthodontic treatment for Scottsdale, AZ, patients
Orthodontics can help you get a more beautiful, more confident smile — and they can also help correct problems that could have an impact on your oral health and your quality of life. To learn how custom orthodontic care can help you lock in a lifetime of benefits, give us a call at 602-864-0004 and book an appointment at our Scottsdale, Arizona, office today.