Just like what’s under the bread in a sandwich. Orthodontists use x-rays to check below the surface to look for extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth or teeth coming into the wrong positions.
Speaking of extra teeth, did you know snails have over 14,000? A full set of adult human teeth has only 32.
Why is looking below the surface so important?
Well, some things may be hiding that can only be seen through x-rays. Impacted teeth may prevent adult teeth from erupting properly. Sometimes, an impacted tooth can even harm the roots of neighboring teeth, cause crowding and may cause already erupted teeth to move into unhealthy positions.
If you do have an “invisible” orthodontic problem, an early check-up and x-ray may help you avoid more costly, invasive treatments down the road.
It may be easier for an orthodontist to identify and correct a problem when it is forming rather than waiting for it to fully develop.
You wouldn’t skip a well-check at the pediatrician, and you shouldn’t skip an early trip to the orthodontist either. A visit to your orthodontist by age 7 will help keep your child’s oral health in check. Just because your general dentist has not referred you does not mean you cannot visit the orthodontist for an exam. Many orthodontists offer free exams with x-rays to make sure your teeth are coming in properly or let you know of any missing teeth.
Trust an AAO orthodontist
You can work with an American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Orthodontist to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Find an orthodontist near you at aaoinfo.org/locator