Lauren Windhorst, DDS, MS
formerly Lauren Gossett
803 N. 36th Street, Suite A
St. Joseph, MO 64506
307 South Main Street, Suite B
Gallatin, MO 64640

When to See an Orthodontist

At Choice Orthodontics, we're passionate about helping all of our patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. Dr. Windhorst and her highly trained team of orthodontic assistants work hard to treat every patient on an individual basis, designing personalized treatment plans that perfectly suit each patient's unique orthodontic needs. But for someone considering orthodontic treatment, knowing when to come in for treatment can be confusing.

The Right Time

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering when is the right time for an evaluation. At a basic level, you should see an orthodontist whenever you have a question about your smile, the alignment of your teeth, or your bite. In some cases, such as severe malocclusions (like overbites), this is obvious. But other times it is not so apparent.

Even if you don't have obvious problems in the alignment of your teeth or jaws, you still may benefit from orthodontic treatment. If you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, unable to close your lips, consistently breathing through your mouth (mouth breathing), or unintentionally biting the roof of your mouth, it may be time for an evaluation with your local St. Joseph and Gallatin, MO orthodontist.

Orthodontics for Children

For children, the question of when to get evaluated is much simpler. In keeping with the American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO), we ask that all parents bring children in for an examination by age seven. This is for two reasons: Number one: at this age the back bite is established, which lets your orthodontist perform a comprehensive evaluation of tooth and jaw relationships, spotting any problems that may develop down the line.

And number two: some conditions are much easier to treat if they're addressed early. For example, your orthodontist can use a device called a palatal expander to widen a child's upper jaw—something that becomes impossible as the jaws solidify and stop growing.

Early orthodontic treatment can also address problems like baby teeth that fall out too early or too late, persistent thumb sucking, or tongue thrusting. Keep in mind that sometimes we may not start treatment at this age, but evaluating early allows us to monitor your child's development until the ideal time to begin braces.

Adult Orthodontics

So now you know about your child, but what about you? Despite what you may have heard, healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so it's never too late for orthodontic treatment. In fact, over a quarter of patients at our St. Joseph and Gallatin, MO practice are adults!

Adult orthodontic treatment is an investment in confidence; a new smile brings a boost of happiness and self-esteem that radiates through your personal and professional life. Patients often tell us that with a smile they're proud of, situations ranging from weekend barbeques to major presentations at work are easier because they aren't afraid to smile.

Plus, modern braces are lighter, more comfortable, and more attractive than ever before, and revolutionary treatment alternatives like Invisalign mean that no one even has to know you're straightening your teeth. If you're an adult considering revitalizing your life with a beautiful new smile, then you may find that the perfect time to see an orthodontist is right now!

Contact Dr. Windhorst Now

No matter your age or orthodontic situation, orthodontic treatment can provide you with a wonderful, healthy smile. Call us today at 816-279-8300 to find out more about treatment, or feel free to schedule an appointment online at our St. Joseph or Gallatin, MO office. We look forward to helping you achieve the gorgeous new smile you deserve!

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