When to See an OrthodontistWhen is the right time to see an orthodontist? This is an excellent question, especially if you've been thinking about braces or orthodontic treatment for yourself or someone you care about.

The most direct answer is that you should see an orthodontist any time you have an issue with the alignment of your teeth or the quality of your bite. For example, you may have difficulty biting, chewing, or speaking, or some of your teeth may be clearly protruding, crowded, or misplaced. If you are experiencing any of these problems, it's time to consult with our office. Our orthodontists of Bettendorf, Eldridge, and Maquoketa have the skills and training needed to diagnose and treat any orthodontic problems you have, such as the issues mentioned above and also:

  • Misaligned Teeth
  • Facial Imbalance (Asymmetry)
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Teeth Clenching
  • Teeth Grinding
  • And More!

Orthodontics for Children

Orthodontics for ChildrenIn addition to the general guidelines for orthodontic treatment, there are some specific recommendations for children. The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child have an early orthodontic examination by age 7.

The first reason for this stems from the fact that there's a wide disparity in tooth development at a very young age. Before the age of 7 it is hard to tell if a child may actually have an orthodontic problem or if it is just a normal developmental variation. By the age of 7, our orthodontists can often determine whether or not there will be adequate room in the mouth to accommodate all of a child's incoming permanent teeth.

The second reason it is advised that children come in at an early age is that orthodontic conditions are much easier to treat if they're caught at an early stage (i.e. while your child's natural growth processes are in full swing). If your child, for example, has a crossbite (a condition in which the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth), a palatal expander appliance can effectively treat this while your youngster's jaw bone is still growing. However, if left untreated, oral surgery could later be required to correct this serious structural issue.

Alleviating Common Issues

There are several common dental/ortho problems seen in childhood that may also benefit from early orthodontic treatment. These include:

  • Early of Baby Teeth
  • Late Loss of Baby Teeth
  • Thumb Sucking
  • Tongue Thrusting
  • And Mouth Breathing

If you notice any of these issues developing in your child, it may be time to visit our practice located in Bettendorf, Eldridge, and Maquoketa. Keep in mind though that an early screening doesn't mean treatment will start right away. In fact, most kids don't actually begin active orthodontic treatment like braces until they're about 9 - 14 years old. More information on early orthodontic treatment can be found on our blog.

Orthodontics for Adults

Orthodontics for AdultsNow that you know when your child should come in for an orthodontic exam, you might want to consider one for yourself too. Do you cover your mouth when you smile? Are you self-conscious around strangers because your smile isn't as perfect as you'd like it to be? If so, now might be the time to see an orthodontist and do something about it!

Braces aren't just for kids and teenagers. According to the AAO (American Association of Orthodontics), 1 in 5 orthodontic patients today is an adult. And there are plenty of reasons for this. Braces and other orthodontic treatments can be successful at any age, and in older patients compliance isn't usually an issue, meaning treatments move along faster. Furthermore, with the growing availability of clear aligners, translucent ceramic brackets, and lingual braces, it's becoming harder to tell whether or not someone is even undergoing orthodontic treatment. Ergo, there is no need to worry that metal braces might clash with your professional image; you can straighten your teeth in a variety of subtle ways. Be sure to ask our orthodontists about our less-visible alternatives and browse the types of braces and Invisalign options we offer today.

Fix Problems, Break Habits, & Enhance Your Smile, Dental Health, & Life

Of course, orthodontic treatment isn't just about looks. Orthodontic treatment provides a myriad of benefits, from fixing jaw and facial asymmetry problems, to alleviating a thumb sucking issue, to getting your teeth into an alignment that better benefits your dental health. Truly, a smile that's been enhanced with orthodontic treatment can improve your life and help your teeth stay healthy! So don't delay, contact one of our offices located in Bettendorf, Eldridge, and Maquoketa today!