When to See an Orthodontist

Orthodontic Treatment in Woodbury & Stillwater, MN

At Henseler & Kocian Orthodontics, our mission is to help patients throughout Woodbury, Stillwater, and the surrounding areas achieve healthy, confident smiles.  We believe that achieving a great new smile should never be a confusing or difficult process, which is why our orthodontists work with each patient to explain your personalized treatment plan. Plans that will not only meet your goals but will fit your lifestyle. If you or your child would benefit from braces or Invisalign treatment, you may be asking yourself an even more fundamental question: when should I go see an orthodontist?

When to Visit Your Woodbury Orthodontists

At the most basic level, you should see your Stillwater orthodontist anytime you or your dentist have questions or concerns about the appearance of your smile, the function of your bite, or the alignment of your teeth. These issues may be obvious, but they're often subtle. If you experience consistent jaw pain, notice visible problems in the alignment of teeth, or have any trouble chewing, biting into foods or speaking, these are all signs that it's time to visit your orthodontist. Other signs aren't so obvious: if you or your child are mouth breathing, clenching or grinding teeth, or have any difficulty closing your lips comfortably, these are all signs that it's time for a consultation.  

Ultimately, you're the judge of what problems warrant attention. Even small cosmetic issues can have a dramatic impact on self-esteem, and many of our adult patients simply want to fix small problems to improve the appearance of their smile.

When Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

Problems like these can happen anytime in life. But in addition to visiting your Woodbury orthodontist for specific issues, every child should have an orthodontic evaluation. In keeping with the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), we ask parents to bring their children in for an initial evaluation around age 7. At this age, there are enough adult teeth in, that our orthodontists can spot both problems that currently exist and things that may become a problem down the line. 

After this evaluation, we may recommend starting early orthodontic treatment right away. More likely though, we will elect to simply wait and monitor your child's development until the ideal time for treatment. If we do decide to intervene, we'll be able to take advantage of your child's natural growth processes to guide their dental and orthodontic development, allowing us to easily fix problems that could require oral surgery if left untreated. That said, for most patients, we'll simply wait and watch, starting treatment sometime between ages 10 and 14. 

Should I See an Orthodontist as an Adult?

Despite what many believe, orthodontics isn't just for kids and teenagers. In fact, over a quarter of our patients are adults! But it's often difficult to know if you should visit the orthodontist as an adult. 

Thankfully, we can move healthy teeth at any age, which means you're never "too old" for braces or clear aligner treatment. Adult orthodontic treatment can completely revitalize your smile, providing a boost in confidence, happiness, and self-esteem that radiates throughout your personal and professional life. Best of all, modern braces are thinner, more comfortable, and more attractive than ever, and new treatment alternatives like Invisalign mean that no one has to know you're straightening your teeth. It's never been easier to achieve a brand new smile!

Schedule a Consultation with Your Stillwater, MN Orthodontists

So, should you see the orthodontist? Our advice is that if you have any questions or concerns about your smile or you'd like your smile to look or feel better, it's time for a consultation. There's no commitment, and your orthodontist will talk honestly with you to help you fully understand your current orthodontic situation and your treatment options. Don't wait – schedule your consultation today!

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