When you think about seeing an orthodontist, you may only think about trying to straighten your teeth. And that’s great, because crooked teeth can result in tooth decay, worsen gum disease and lead to tooth loss. But while braces and Invisalign treatments are popular orthodontic treatments, Dr. Pardo also focuses her expertise on the general positioning your jaws. And, this could be an even more important reason to see an orthodontist at an early age.
Malocclusion is when your teeth or jaws don’t properly align and can include conditions such as crowded teeth, underbite, overbite, crossbite, and open bite. These bite problems can lead to irregular wearing of your tooth surfaces, repeated biting of your inner cheeks or tongue, soreness when chewing or biting, speech problems, and extreme stress on your gum tissue and jawbone.
As your Ashland orthodontic specialist, Dr. Pardo, believes in the benefits of all types of orthodontic treatment including better oral health, a beautiful smile, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime. She recommends you or your family member see an orthodontist whenever you have a concern or your dentist has a concern. Sometimes, treatment by an orthodontist can be less costly than the additional care required to treat dental problems arising as a result of a misalignment problem.
When Should My Child See The Orthodontist?
From Dr. Pardo’s experience, the best time to have your child’s first orthodontic visit
in Ashland is between age 6 and 9. But that doesn’t mean that treatment will be necessary at that time. After a thorough exam, Dr. Pardo will examine the movement and growth of the jaw (for underbites and overbites) and use panoramic X-rays to look at tooth follicles checking for impacted, missing and overcrowded teeth. Then, she’ll determine whether any early treatment has a benefit or whether treatment should be delayed and then make the full correction at a later date, based on each individual case.
At age 7, most children’s first molars have broken through and most children complete their dental growth by age 12. So, having orthodontic intervention, for teeth overcrowding for example, decreases the need for extraction of permanent teeth. Also, when the baby teeth are still in, we have more treatment options because we have more flexibility in moving the teeth. Some of the problems commonly seen in childhood that may benefit from orthodontic treatment include the early or late loss of baby teeth, persistent thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and mouth breathing. If you notice any of these habits, it may be time to visit our office.
If you’re trying to decide on the best treatment plan, we encourage you to ask a lot of questions. Dr. Pardo will review the pros and cons of your child’s possible treatments and timing so that you can make a well-educated decision on when to pursue orthodontic treatment.
When Should An Adult See The Orthodontist?
Braces aren’t just for teenagers anymore. And neither is the need for corrective orthodontic measures in adults such as correcting jaw alignment problems such overbites, underbites, overjets or jaw disorders. Adults need orthodontic treatments not just to look good and feel more confident, but to keep teeth healthy and avoid problems with eating and other factors that result from malocclusion.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially, appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. Adults can benefit from Invisalign treatment if they have concerns about wearing conventional braces. If you worry that metal braces might clash with your professional image, be sure to ask about less-visible alternatives like our Invisalign clear aligners or colorless ceramic brackets. These options make it harder to tell whether or not you're wearing orthodontic appliances.
Dr. Pardo hasn’t found compliance to be an issue with adult treatment, which is critical when using Invisalign aligners. However, she notes that adult treatment presents additional challenges from those present in adolescent treatment. Periodontal considerations, cessation of growth, missing teeth and extensive restorations are often factors in treatment planning for adults.
Call Dr. Pardo With Your Questions
If you’re still not sure about making your first appointment, contact Dr. Pardo at her Ashland office by calling (508) 881-4107 and ask any questions to clarify your need for a visit. We’re here to help create a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth for you and your family.