What Does an Orthodontist Do?
When people think of oral care, they tend to think of dentists instead of orthodontists. Yet, seeing an orthodontist is just as important as scheduling regular appointments at the dentist.
Orthodontists provide care to patients who have irregularities in their jaw or in their teeth. Not only can they help correct dental problems, from severe teeth crookedness to underbites, but they can also prevent oral health issues from springing up in the first place. Our orthodontists specialize in a variety of orthodontic treatments in Matthews, NC, including Invisalign, retainers, orthognathic surgery, metal braces, and ceramic braces.
It’s important for patients to understand when they should see an orthodontist. That’s why we’ve written this piece to explain when you should make an appointment for orthodontic care. Let’s start with examining the difference between seeing the dentist vs. seeing the orthodontist and how the two practices work together.
Orthodontist vs. Dentist – What’s the Difference?
While orthodontic care and dental care have their similarities, the two also have their differences. Dentists provide general dental care to their patients and can sometimes offer treatments to help with misaligned teeth or bite problems. Orthodontists, on the other hand, specialize specifically in treating misaligned teeth and jaw problems.
While your dentist can treat you for issues like gum disease and tooth decay, they may need to refer you to a local orthodontist to help straighten your smile. This is especially important for young children as their teeth start to grow in.
The longer you wait to take your child to see an orthodontist, the more likely it will be for them to develop more severe forms of teeth misalignment problems. The same can be said for visiting the dentist when it comes to your child’s oral health. In severe cases, if an oral disease has been left untreated for too long, an orthodontist may need to take off the patient’s braces so the dentist can treat it.
Why Is Early Orthodontic Treatment so Important?
No matter what age you are, the health of your teeth should take as much priority as the rest of your body. In fact, research shows that your oral health and your overall health are linked. If you develop severe oral health problems, you’re not just putting your smile at risk.
Orthodontics contribute to your oral health just by straightening your teeth. This is because misaligned teeth can rub against the soft tissues in your mouth. This can lead to pain, bleeding, swelling, and cuts in your gums.
Any cut inside of your mouth can expose it to bacteria, leading to an infection. A severe infection has the potential to land you in the hospital if it is not treated.
The moment you notice rubbing and pain from a misaligned tooth, your first step should be to contact your orthodontist. Early treatment and prevention ultimately keeps you healthier and happier.
What Are the Most Common Orthodontic Problems to Look Out For?
Besides injuries to the gums, there are a few orthodontic issues–also called malocclusions–that your orthodontist will look out for and treat. The following list includes the most common malocclusions:
- Open bite
- Protruding teeth
- Excessive spacing
- Deep bite
When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?
The most critical time for oral health is when the teeth start to first emerge in childhood. That’s why you should schedule your child to see an orthodontist by the age of 7.
However, if your child starts to experience symptoms of an orthodontic issue before then, they should see an orthodontist even sooner. Our orthodontists are well-versed in the issues that can spring up during childhood.
If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth and the way they are coming in, we’re here to answer your questions about orthodontic care and put your concerns to rest. This includes any questions you may have about pricing.
How Much Do Braces for Kids Cost in Matthews, NC?
Now that you’ve seen what orthodontists specialize in, your next question may be: how much will braces cost for my child? However, the answer varies based on a few factors:
- The type of braces
- Your insurance
- Your child’s age
- How severely the teeth are misaligned
The amount of time treatment lasts also plays a role in how expensive your child’s braces will be. Even so, braces are now much more affordable than they used to be in the past. Our orthodontists are happy to break down the exact price with you after your child gets seen for their specific needs.
Can I Get Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult?
It’s never too late to take care of your teeth, no matter what orthodontic or dental issues you may have. While it’s more common for children to have braces, more and more adults are now investing in braces or orthodontic surgeries so they can feel more confident with their smiles. In fact, 25% of orthodontic patients are adults.
Invisalign remains one of the most popular types of teeth straightening methods for adults due to its discreet, nearly invisible design. Because studies show that straighter teeth lead to healthier teeth, it’s no wonder people are focusing on both the health and appearance of their smiles.
At SP Orthodontics, you can expect premium care and customer service when you book an appointment with us. We’re here to help with every orthodontic concern you have, no matter what age you are.