Skip to content

    Oral Care

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    When to See an Orthodontist

    What orthodontists do, how to choose one, and what you may pay.

    Why See an Orthodontist continued...

    Crooked or crowded teeth, as well as overbites and underbites, can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. That’s because overlapping teeth can be tough to clean.

    A bad bite also can cause problems when chewing and talking. Not to mention too much wear, grinding, and clenching.

    Orthodontics has come a long way over the years. Primitive but well-designed orthodontic appliances have been found with Greek and Etruscan artifacts, Rogers says.

    Stainless steel brackets and wires were introduced in 1927. Clear ceramic or porcelain brackets debuted in the 1970s. In 1999, Invisalign was introduced. It’s a series of clear trays that fit in the mouth and are changed every two weeks. Other tray aligners include ClearCorrect; Simpli5; and Red, White, and Blue.

    Today, some braces are may be nearly invisible. Some have clear or tooth-colored brackets. Others are attached to the lingual (back side) of your teeth.

    When to Go to an Orthodontist

    The AAO recommends that children see an orthodontist no later than age 7, even if there are no problems. That’s because the jaw is still developing and it’s best to catch issues early.

    “Most children go into orthodontic treatment when they are between 9 and 14 years old, but the average for girls is a little earlier,” Rogers says.

    The typical adult patient might be 26 to 44 years old, but Rogers says he has also put braces on people in their 60s and 70s.

    How long will treatment take? Orthodontists customize treatment for each patient. It usually takes one to three years.

    How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

    Number of Days Per Week I Floss

    Get the latest Oral Health newsletter delivered to your inbox!


    or
    Answer:
    Never
    (0)
    Good
    (1-3)
    Better
    (4-6)
    Best
    (7)

    You are currently

    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

    SOURCES:

    American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

    This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

    Start Over

    Step:  of 

    Today on WebMD

    close up of woman sticking out tongue
    Sores, discoloration, bumps and more.
    toothbrushes
    10 secrets to a brighter smile.
     
    Veneer smile
    Before and after.
    Woman checking her bite in mirror
    Why dental care is important.
     

    Woman dissatisfied with granola bar
    Slideshow
    woman with jaw pain
    Quiz
     
    eroded front teeth
    Slideshow
    brushing teeth
    Video
     

    Variety shades of tea
    Slideshow
    mouth and dental instruments
    Article
     
    Closeup of a happy young guy brushing his teeth
    Tool
    womans smile
    Video