Dental and orthodontic care is as important for your health as other kinds of medical care, but people may not deem it a high priority. Here are four reasons orthodontic care is important.
1. Helping Build Confidence
People seeking orthodontic care for themselves or their children may be referred to an orthodontist by their dentist or search online for an orthodontist near me in order to straighten out their teeth. In many cases, straightening teeth is a cosmetic process that helps boost people’s self-esteem and helps improve mental health.
2. Improving Health
While many cases of orthodontic care involve cosmetic improvements, there are also many people who require orthodontic care to improve their health. Children may have misaligned bites congenitally or from habits such as thumb sucking. Misaligned bites can occur later in life too, due to injury, extracted teeth or erupting wisdom teeth. If teeth are only slightly crooked but don’t impact your bite, you may only need a minor adjustment. However, if you have a congenital condition like a missing adult tooth or a cleft palate, orthodontic care is necessary to improve your quality of life and keep you healthy.
3. Treating Children and Adults
Braces are stereotypically something you see on children or teenagers. However, adults can require or request orthodontic care too. Children are recommended to see an orthodontist by about age seven unless their parents or dentists become aware of a serious issue. Adults can see an orthodontist at any time as long as they don’t have a condition such as gingivitis or tooth decay. With advances in orthodontic treatment, adults may not have to worry about wearing traditional metal braces. Instead, they may be candidates for clear plastic aligners.
4. Teaching Orthodontic Upkeep
Besides providing and maintaining orthodontic treatments, orthodontists educate patients on caring for their braces and other treatment apparatuses. Braces require you to floss in a certain way, clean the brackets, use fluoridated toothpaste and avoid certain foods. Depending on the type of retainer you get after the braces come off, you may need to continue using special flossing tools. If you require specialized orthodontic tools such as rubber bands, your orthodontist can teach you how to use them properly.
If you think you might benefit from orthodontic treatment, talk to your dentist. He or she can refer you to an orthodontist who can help you decide on the best course of treatment for you.