If you live in America, chances are you’re well acquainted with our dental culture. It seems like just about EVERYONE in Hollywood has perfect teeth. They spend thousands and thousands of dollars to have what has become a namesake of tinsel town – the Hollywood smile. Of course, there are a few actors that have not gone with the crowd, but their smiles are famous in large part because they are so unique. Will Ferrel comes to mind as an excellent example of bad teeth
While it’s probably good not to get obsessive about your teeth and go to Hollywood levels in pursuit of perfecting your visage, it is never a bad thing to have straighter teeth. There are the obvious cosmetic reasons of course, but there are health reasons as well. An over or underbite can have negative consequences on your long term oral health. Teeth can scrape and grind each other down, even chipping in one go if things are bad enough. Having misaligned teeth can even result from structural and alignment issues in your jaw, something that should be fixed ASAP
So, the question is, when is it appropriate to have dental work done, and who should you go to for this very personal treatment?
It’s never too early
There really is no time that is too early for someone to go seek dental treatment. Concerned parents should make sure that their children get access to the care they need as soon as they can. Of course, if you don’t yet have your adult teeth, then issues with the teeth themselves are usually much less serious as they will simply fall out at some point. The tooth fairy doesn’t seem to mind! However, once a child’s permanent teeth start to come in, it is advisable to go speak with a professional. Even just having a checkup to make sure that they are coming in properly with x rays and other techniques is a good idea.
As far as an actual, ideal age to go see a professional, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child see an orthodontist around the age of 7. Family Braces, an orthodontic practice offering Braces, gives some explanation why. This is right before the child hits their oral growth spurt, so any issues can be detected early on. The orthodontist can work to correct alignment and growth issues as they are happening rather than trying to change things after they have already happened.
In some rare cases it will be best to wait until the teeth have fully come in, but the only way to really know is to speak with a licensed professional that can properly assess the situation.
Who to go to?
Going at the proper time is only half the battle. When you are considering where to go for a dental appointment, the next question is where to go. The two main types of practitioners qualified to treat you are dentists and orthodontists. Specialties like oral surgeons and others are more focused on performing more specific functions.
The difference between a dentist and an orthodontist is a matter of schooling. Orthodontists are dentists that have received an additional 2-3 years of schooling. This training was focused entirely on moving teeth around and correcting oral issues. So, if you are looking for the most qualified type of person to treat your teeth, it would be an orthodontist.
Beyond this, you need to find the sort of professional that will click with you. If you live in a major city in Canada or the US, chances are there are quite a few different professionals all offering their services in your area. Researching with tools like Google Reviews. will help you. Since dental work is something that just about everyone has to have at some pont or another, your friends and family will likely have their own preferences. Speaking with those who opinions you value will help you decide who is the best option for your mouth.
Even if you weren’t taken by your parents for dental work at the prime age, it is never too late to go. YEven if you don’t think you can afford it, you should still speak with professionals and see what your options are. Chances are there is a solution that will work for you, no matter what your situation is. It never hurts to look!