As an adult, you may not think you would ever need to see an orthodontist, as this type of dental specialist is usually visited by children in order to straighten their teeth as teenagers. However, keep in mind that your face can change shape over the years and as you get older; in turn, your teeth may shift around in your mouth and start to become crooked. There may also be other circumstances that would warrant a visit to an orthodontist to see about straightening your teeth. Note when this might be needed, even for an adult.
1. You've been injured
If your mouth or jaw has suffered an impact of any sort, you may not realize that this impact can actually loosen your teeth somewhat, and they may settle back into your mouth a bit crooked. In turn, they may scrape against each other or look out of alignment. It's good to get the teeth fitted with an alignment device of some sort while they're still healing from the impact, as this can mean less discomfort and less time needed to keep them straight and properly aligned.
2. You've had wisdom teeth come in but never removed them
Wisdom teeth, or those molars you get in the back of the mouth along the roof, are often pulled when they come in, as there is rarely room for those teeth in the mouth. However, if you never had them pulled, you may then notice that your other teeth are now a bit crooked. It's good to have this checked by an orthodontist, as these teeth may continue to shift and become even more crooked as the wisdom teeth continue to push them out of alignment, and the teeth in the back of your mouth may also be crooked and need straightening.
3. When you notice pain in the jaw or teeth
If your dentist has ruled out any other physical cause, the pain you feel in your jaw or teeth may be that they're too crowded, or they're out of alignment and pushing up against the inside of the cheeks, roof of the mouth, or the gums themselves. In turn, you may feel this abrasion or other discomfort, or pain in the teeth themselves from this constant pressure. Having the teeth properly aligned can mean alleviating your mouth from this pressure and protecting the inside of the mouth from the risk of cuts and scrapes, and resultant oral infections.