If you believe the saying that “Your eyes are the windows to your soul,” then you should understand that your smile is the key to self esteem and confidence. Your mouth or smile sends messages to everyone you meet, good or bad. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), people often base first impressions about individuals solely on the condition of their teeth.
“This phenomenon was documented more than 25 years ago in a study published in 1981,” says Dr. Don Joondeph past AAO president, “When the focus groups looked at the altered photos, unflattering terms such as ‘unattractive’ and ‘aggressive’ were used. However, when groups saw photos of the same individuals with a healthy, beautiful smile, they were more likely to view the individuals as ‘intelligent,’ ‘attractive’ and ‘a friend I’d like to have.’” Today’s image-obsessed world makes these results more accurate. “More than ever, young people and adults want to be perceived as healthy, attractive and appealing to their peers and others.” Dr. Joondeph believes that the first thing that people notice about young and adult patients is obvious: “The confidence and sense of self-esteem that comes with their healthy, beautiful smiles.”
An orthodontic check-up no later than age seven can identify potential problems in growing children and ensure that any future treatment is timed appropriately. For adults, an orthodontic consult may reveal that cosmetic dentistry, periodontal therapy, endodontic therapy, oral surgery or prosthodontic treatments are necessary. A team approach is necessary to assure that comprehesive treatment plans are recommended. There are really no conditions that can not be “treated” due to the complex nature and amount of treatment needed. In some cases, straightening malaligned teeth can treat certain conditions you may not realized are related to your teeth, such as headaches, jaw pain and digestive problems. Make an appointment with an orthodontic specialist to see how you can benefit from treatment.