|Get to Know Your Orthodontist
Orthodontists are dental specialists who have completed 2-3 years of additional education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align teeth and jaws. This further training qualifies your orthodontist to identify, diagnose and more importantly treat a broad spectrum of dental irregularities your family dentist may not, such as :
- Early or late loss of teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or into the roof of the mouth
- Protruding teeth
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
- Facial imbalance
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
The nature of some of these issues, many of which present themselves in early to late childhood or adolescence, grow increasingly serious with lack of proper treatment. Having a specialist identify, diagnose and treat such ailments is the # 1 reason for seeing an orthodontist.
So, why should I choose a specialist for my child’s orthodontic care?
Some problems simply need a specialist’s care. When you’re pregnant, you go to an obstetrician. When you have stomach problems beyond what your general practitioner is qualified to handle, you visit your gastroenterologist.
Well, in the same way that pediatricians or obstetricians are medical specialists, orthodontists are dental specialists. When you choose an orthodontist, you are choosing a specialist with the broadest experience and training possible.
Unique treatment requirements and otherwise difficult bite problems are common, everyday scenarios for your orthodontist. In the interest of receiving the most efficient and effective orthodontic treatment possible, choose an orthodontic specialist.
Why is Your Smile So Important?
The First Reason : Health
The fact is, a straight smile is a healthy smile. Like anything else in life, balance is all about proportion. Straight teeth and jaws that align mean the rest of the mouth and, indeed, face can grow proportionally, ensuring good oral health.
The Second Reason : Confidence
Let’s face it: kids can be cruel. From elementary school on, and sometimes even sooner, peer groups and classmates look for any reason to tease, ostracize or even outright humiliate kids who are perceived as “different.”
I see it every day when my patients come in complaining of the other kids teasing them about their crooked teeth, buck teeth or overbite. The fact is, they may not share this with you, for fear of being even more embarrassed at home as well as school.
You might be surprised what your kids will tell me while sitting in my chair that they won’t tell you while sitting at the dinner table. A straight, clean and healthy smile can not only give your child the confidence she needs to embrace her true worth, but can also pave the way toward easier socialization at school, at church, in groups and during extracurricular activities.
The Third Reason : Comfort
Headaches. Toothaches. Sinus problems. Dry mouth. Snoring. Drooling. Bad breath. Insomnia.
All of these and much more are symptoms of a smile that isn’t straight, jaws that aren’t aligned or teeth that are too close together – or not quite close enough. Oftentimes, however, the mouth is the last place we check for signs of discomfort, loss of sleep, or even a simple headache.
If your child’s pediatrician can’t figure out why she’s not sleeping well or experiencing headaches or even insomnia for which there seems to be no cause, a simple 30-minute exam at your local orthodontist could clear the problem right up.
The Fourth Reason : Peace of Mind
As a parent, I know you want the best for your child. No parent wants their child to suffer, either from teeth that actually hurt, from headaches you can’t explain, insomnia that affects everything else or insecurity your child may be feeling because of a crooked or oversized smile.
The fact is, your child’s formative years are actually the most sensitive for his or her teeth. Now is the time to pay close attention to your child’s smile, his behavior, his peer relationships, even his confidence level.
If any or all are lacking, a qualified orthodontist can give you and your child the peace of mind you both crave.
-Dr. Dustin S. Burleson, DDS