Apart from having our teeth checked and cleaned twice a year, we often don't think much about our oral health.
We know that dentists will clean our teeth, check for signs of damage and let us know if we're suffering from other conditions which need further treatment. But what about orthodontists?
Our dental partner, Marvel Orthodontics have helped us explain the important role of an orthodontist and the top 5 reasons why we should see a specialist.
Orthodontists are trained specialists
Orthodontists are specialist dentists trained in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of teeth, jaw and facial irregularities. They specialise in providing a wide range of treatment solutions for straightening crooked teeth, correcting bad bites and aligning the jaws.
Although orthodontists and dentists share many similarities – they both work hard to help you improve your overall oral health – specialisation is what sets an orthodontist apart from a dentist. It’s a bit like the difference between your GP medical doctor and a specialist physician like a cardiologist (or any other medical specialist).
After completing a 5 years degree in general dentistry, an orthodontist is required to practice as a general dentist for a minimum of 2 years before studying a further 3 years (5,000 hours) of post-graduate specialist training in the field of orthodontics. So whether you or your child is considering braces or Invisalign, you can take comfort in being treated by a specialist orthodontist to get the best results.
Kids and orthodontics
Did you know that young kids with crooked teeth or bad bites should be seen by an orthodontist at around age 7-8yrs? Did you also know that that no referral is needed to see an orthodontist? If you answered ‘no,’ don’t worry, you’re not alone! Most Aussie parents are a little confused when it comes to understanding orthodontics.
What is important to understand is that some (but not all) orthodontic problems can be easily corrected when treated in young growing jaws, well before all the adult teeth are through. Waiting until the teenage years to see an orthodontist for the first time can result in further worsening of these early problems resulting in more complication and longer treatment time which would otherwise have been avoided.
Although early orthodontic treatment won’t be needed for all youngsters, taking your child to see an orthodontist between the ages of 7-10 will give the orthodontist a chance to assess the alignment of your child’s teeth and jaws and determine if and when, early intervention is needed.
Orthodontists are highly trained to pinpoint a child’s orthodontic problems from a young age, even if they are subtle, and they can start correcting some problems to avoid potential long term issues.
Your smile is important
It is one of the first things we notice when we greet someone, it’s the way we remember one another, and it’s the way we interact with one another. Having confidence in your smile can positively change your life, which is why consulting an orthodontist to help you create your most healthy and attractive smile is so important.
A beautiful, straight smile not only means your teeth are easier to clean and your gums are healthier, it can also help exude confidence and reduce stress. It’s never too late to invest in a healthy and confident smile.
Psychological and physical benefits
In addition to psychological benefits such as improved self-confidence, orthodontic treatment also brings many physical benefits, including a beautiful smile through the correction of:
Bad bites that can damage teeth and gums
Protruding or misaligned teeth
Gaps in your smile
Crooked and overcrowded teeth
Speech, breathing or chewing difficulties
Teeth grinding or jaw clenching issues
Misaligned jaws (which can affect your facial profile)
Diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnoea
Manage persistent thumb and finger sucking habits in children
Options to suit every lifestyle
Orthodontic treatment progressed a long way since 2000 years ago in ancient Egypt to contemporary orthodontic treatments designed to be as unobtrusive and comfortable as possible so we can get on with our lives without embarrassment or discomfort.
While braces are still the gold standard in straightening teeth and achieving a great smile, modern orthodontic treatment options now include clear braces, lingual (inside) braces and clear aligners (for example Invisalign® / Clear Correct).
In fact, orthodontic treatment is suitable for all ages. If you didn’t have access to treatment when you were younger or your teeth started shifting later in life, there is no age limit for getting straighter teeth! However, getting treated as an adult could be more complicated due to fillings, crowns, missing teeth or other dental issues. So all the more reason to make sure your specialist orthodontist fully assess your oral health and flag any concerns with you.
Marvel Orthodontics are a specialist orthodontic practice based in Gordon. They straighten and align teeth and jaw relationships with treatments for kids, teens and adults including: braces, clear aligners (invisalign), early intervention (ortho treatment for kids) and other orthodontic appliances.