Orthodontics is a subfield of dentistry that diagnoses and treats abnormalities affecting the teeth, jaws, and lower face. The most common reason why people visit an orthodontist is to correct malocclusions, such as overbites, underbites, and crooked teeth. And while these are all common reasons to visit an orthodontist, the most common reason is that people want to feel confident in their smile again. If this is the case for you, we want you to know what you can expect when you first visit an orthodontist.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children receive their first orthodontic check-up no later than seven years of age. Orthodontists are trained to detect even the most minor of problems with emerging permanent teeth and jaw development in young children. Early treatment of malocclusions is the best way to prevent the need for more extensive treatment in the future.
First-time orthodontic check consultations for children can consist of the following:
- A comprehensive examination of teeth and gums – If tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis or other oral problem is found, we may recommend a dentist specializing in treating dental and gum diseases
- Digital imaging scans of the lower jaw, upper jaw and all teeth (many times this is done at the second appointment)
- Measuring bite parameters to determine if the child’s upper and lower teeth are meeting each other correctly
Your orthodontist will then recommend treatment if necessary. If your orthodontist detects minor or subtle signs of malocclusions, they may recommend waiting until later to see if the condition is not expected to cause problems while waiting.
Orthodontic treatment may be indicated for children who:
- Have a history of excessive thumb sucking
- Drank from a bottle past the age of three
- Chronically breathes from their mouth instead of their nose
- Lost baby (primary) teeth too late or too early
- Have noticeable overbites, underbites, or teeth overcrowding
- Have speech or chewing issues not attributed to other medical issues
Children with certain malocclusions may need to undergo dental procedures before an orthodontic treatment program can be developed. Teeth overcrowding could mean a child has too many teeth and may require one or more extractions to begin repositioning existing teeth.
If you see an orthodontist to correct your smile, braces may be discussed, along with other options that straighten teeth such as Invisalign. However, before you can talk about all the options for orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will complete a full comprehensive oral exam. From there, they will be able to determine the best options for you depending on your lifestyle and hobbies.
The first thing you can expect to happen during an orthodontic consultation is to have all of your questions answered. This is a crucial step because having more information, and the right information, will help you ultimately make a better choice when deciding which orthodontic treatment is right for you. Options like clear ceramic braces, Invisalign, surgical orthodontics, and even retainers can be discussed during your initial consultation.
Schedule Your First Visit with Dr. Reddick in Melbourne, FL
No one’s smile is the same. Whether you’re a child, teen, or an adult, there is an orthodontic treatment option out there that is right for you. We understand you may be nervous when it comes to physical changes to your appearance, however, braces are only temporary, and your beautiful smile afterwards will last a lifetime.