If you've been thinking about orthodontic treatment for yourself or someone you care about, you may be wondering: When is the right time to see an orthodontist? It's an excellent question, and there are several ways to answer it.
The most basic one is this: You should see an orthodontist any time you have a question about the alignment of your teeth, or the quality of your bite. Sometimes, a problem in this area is obvious. For example, you may have difficulty biting, chewing or speaking, or some of your teeth may be clearly protruding, crowded or misplaced. If that's the case, then it's time to consult with our office — an orthodontist has the special skills and training needed to diagnose and treat the problem.
Other conditions may not be as clear cut. Mouth breathing, clenching or grinding your teeth, and the inability to comfortably close your lips may be signs that orthodontic treatment is needed. Likewise, if your jaws seem to frequently shift in position or make sounds as they move, or if you find you're unintentionally biting your cheek or the roof of your mouth, you may have an orthodontic issue.
Teeth that meet abnormally can even cause a facial imbalance (asymmetry), meaning that some facial features aren't in proportion with others. This is a problem that can often be corrected by orthodontic treatment.