Ever found yourself entranced by a movie star’s gleaming smile and wished your own pearly whites could compare? With the help of modern-day orthodontics, your dream could very well become reality.
More than five million people across Canada and the United States are currently in the care of orthodontists – dentists who specialize in moving teeth, helping jaws develop properly and working to keep newly revitalized smiles in their new positions. So if you thought braces were just for kids, consider the facts:
- Twenty percent of all orthodontic patients are over age 18.
- Your self-confidence will improve along with your smile.
- If you don’t seek treatment, your orthodontic problems could lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction and chewing and digestive problems.
- A “bad bite” can lead to speech impairments, tooth loss and chipped teeth.
- One of the primary goals of orthodontic treatment is to alleviate dental or physical health problems.
- If you do have kids, you can save yourself money in the long run by having them screened by an orthodontist early. In fact, the Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that you take your children to see an orthodontist by the age of seven. After all, it’s easier to correct orthodontic problems if they’re caught early – before a child has all his or her permanent teeth.
Wondering what signals should tip you off to the need for an early orthodontic exam? Here are some guidelines:
- early or late loss of teeth;
- difficulty chewing or biting;
- thumb sucking;
- breathing through the mouth rather than the nose;
- crowding, misplaced or blocked out teeth;
- jaws that shift or make sounds;
- speech problems;
- biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth;
- teeth that don’t align properly or don’t meet at all;
- jaws that are too far forward or back; and
- grinding or clenching of the teeth.
So if you want a smile that’s worth a million bucks, visit your orthodontist’s office. Before you know it, you’ll have a megawatt smile as gorgeous as any you’ve seen sparkling from a red carpet!