More than four million people in the United States and Canada seek the care of an orthodontist. An orthodontist diagnoses, prevents, and treats problems with the position of the teeth, jaw bones, joints, and chewing muscles. His goal is to straighten the alignment of your teeth and plan for erupting teeth to come in. In addition, of course, is to provide a beautiful, healthy, functional bite and smile.
The American Association or Orthodontics recommends every child have an orthodontic checkup no later than age seven (or with the eruption of all first permanent molars). Early orthodontic care is important in stopping bad oral habits and allowing ample time to correct problems that might not be easily correctable after growth of the face and jaws has ceased. Also, early treatment can move jaws into position, make enough room for crowded teeth, and avoid unnecessary adult extractions.
Crowded teeth, crooked teeth, and a "bad bite" are referred to as a malocclusion. It is often inherited, but also can be caused by oral habits and dental injuries or accidents. Inherited problems include crowding of the teeth, spacing of the teeth, extra or missing teeth, and cleft lip or palate. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids, dental decay, or early loss of baby or permanent teeth can also cause dental malocclusions. Oral habits (usually found in young children) that can lead to the need for orthodontic care include lip biting, tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, and mouth breathing.
There are three classifications of "bad bites." The first is when your teeth are crowded, crooked, or too far apart, but your jaws line up properly. The second is when your upper jaw bites too far forward or your lower jaw bites too far back. The third involves your lower jaw biting too far forward and your upper jaw biting too far back.
Orthodontic treatment can enhance your dental and overall health. The benefits of early orthodontic care include: correction of bad dental habits, improved self-esteem, improved speech, positive jaw growth, and planning for incoming teeth.
Untreated orthodontic problems can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including: tooth decay, gum disease, bone damage, joint problems, speech problems, chewing difficulty, chipped teeth, and loss of teeth.
At the initial exam, Dr. Feldman can determine each individual's needs. Please call our office today to schedule a complimentary examination. We promise you will learn a lot, have fun, and ignite a new passion to learn how to obtain great smiles for yourself and your family.