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What Will Happen if Parents Ignore Orthodontic Care for Their Teen

What Will Happen if Parents Ignore Orthodontic Care for Their Teen

Teenagers are the biggest users of orthodontic treatment. This is because, once a person’s adult teeth fully emerge, issues like misalignments, over and underbites, and spacing issues begin to reveal themselves. It is ideal for orthodontists to address these issues as soon as they emerge. It is also recommended that teenagers get treatment in this stage because parents are usually there to offer support and aftercare as needed. However, this is not always the case. Life happens, and sometimes we didn’t get the recommended orthodontic care that was needed. If you were one of these people, what happens now?

Red Flags

An orthodontist can give you the lowdown on your dental situation, but here are some problems that you may want to watch out for in your mouth that may point towards needing orthodontic care:

  •         Crowded, misplaced, protruding, or crooked teeth
  •         Jaw issues, such as:

o   Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet, or meet in an abnormal way

o   TMJ, clicking or popping in the jaw

o    A jaw that is too far forward or back

  •         Biting the cheek or biting the roof of the mouth
  •         An unbalanced facial appearance
  •         Grinding or clenching of the teeth
  •         Difficulty chewing or biting
  •         Mouth breathing

Dental Problems and Other Concerns

Perhaps the number one issue these dental issues can cause is poor self-esteem, as our physical appearance can be greatly affected by what is happening in our mouths. Low self-esteem is linked to emotional issues such as social anxiety and even depression, in adults just as much as in teenagers.  It can also impact your ability to express yourself freely.

When your teeth are not straight or aligned, they work differently to chew your food. This can cause uneven wear and tear on the enamel and can cause chipping and further damage. Also, crooked teeth make brushing and flossing more difficult – it’s harder to get in between teeth that have shifted and turned. This then leads to plaque buildup, and eventually decay and gum disease. On the flip side, straight teeth at home make it easier to practice good oral hygiene and get at that bacteria that lives within the mouth.

A misaligned bite as a teenager can lead you to have long term health issues, such as neck strain, headaches, jaw pain, pain around the temples, and stiffness in these areas. It can also impact your ability to open your mouth wide. This can all lead to a diagnosis of TMJ. Grinding your teeth can also happen, which will wear away at your teeth enamel over time.

If crooked and overcrowded teeth or misaligned jaws are left untreated as a teenager, they can lead to many health concerns, ranging from mild to fairly severe. These issues can significantly increase your risk of developing chewing or digestive problems, speech impediments, or acute headache, gum disease, loss of teeth, receding gums, TMJ, and emotional concerns. You, or your parents, might have thought that time and money are saved by not getting crooked teeth fixed as a teenager, but in the long term this is not the case, and you may end up spending more time and money fixing it all.

Treatment Options

From traditional braces to the more invisible options like clear aligners, there is certainly a treatment option available for you. Even if your teeth were not corrected at the time of adolescence, in most cases they can still be corrected now.  In fact, teeth naturally shift as we get older, so orthodontic care often already happens during this time of life.

There are things to consider when choosing the ideal treatment option, including your involvement in physical sports, your professional speaking habits, and the look you are comfortable with. More and more adults are choosing invisible teeth aligners because of some of these factors. If you are an adult that was fortunate enough to avoid braces but are now unlucky in your dental health, there are also options available to you now. At Pure Smiles Online, we have your invisible aligner needs covered.

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