When Should You See An Orthodontist?

At Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics, we strive to keep our patients informed on their oral health and how to maintain their teeth long-term. Our team is here to share when you should seek out an orthodontist and how they can help you. Read on to learn the best time to see Dr. Mahlmann and Dr. Borders based on different points in your life, our free consultations, and what treatment options we provide.

When Should You See An Orthodontist?


One of the first opportunities to see an orthodontist is as young as seven. Dr. Mahlmann, Dr. Borders, and the American Association of Orthodontics recommend bringing your child in early to help prevent complicated issues from worsening and slowly guide their teeth into perfect alignment without invasive treatments. Not all children need care so soon, though those who do can reap the benefits into adulthood. Their jawbones are still moldable and respond very effectively to movement some adults may be unable to achieve as easily. 


Braces and clear aligners are an excellent opportunity to realign your teeth as a child or teenager. As our team tracks your teeth growth, we can share the most effective time for you to begin your smile journey. Starting orthodontic care as a teen can positively affect your oral health for many years as the aesthetics of your smile are enhanced and the condition of your permanent teeth improves.


Some believe braces and orthodontic treatment are reserved for children and teens. However, over a quarter of all orthodontic patients are adults working toward a brand-new smile and improving their overall health. They can receive just as effective treatment and enjoy the same remarkable results as younger patients. If you didn’t have the opportunity for care as a child, you can rely on Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics to provide the care you need to be satisfied with your smile!

We Provide Free Consultations

At Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics, we provide free consultations to all first-time patients! During this initial appointment, we will take x-rays, pictures of your mouth, and other diagnostic materials to learn as much as possible about your current oral health. Our team will use this information and your dental and health records to share our diagnosis and create a unique treatment plan. 

We strive to make high-quality care affordable for our community, so you can expect a rundown of your costs and help deciding which payment plan best suits your budget. Our team can answer any of your questions regarding our treatments and what we can do to help you achieve your perfect smile!

When Should You See An Orthodontist?

Recognizing When Treatment is Needed

Misaligned Teeth

Crooked or misaligned teeth can shift your natural facial structure out of place and negatively affect your confidence. They may also make proper oral maintenance more challenging, causing hard-to-reach areas in your mouth to develop bacteria and plaque buildup. Seeking an orthodontist’s expertise can reduce exposure to these common complications and help you feel great about your smile again.

Bite Complications

Many patients experience bite issues at different times in their lives. This is when your top and bottom teeth do not close together properly, leading to wear and tear, jaw issues, and discomfort while chewing. Everyone experiences bite issues in some capacity, though some will require treatment sooner than others. Different bad bites include crossbite, overbite, underbite, and deep bite. 

Early Baby Tooth Loss

Some children’s baby teeth fall out quicker than others, necessitating the help of an orthodontist to realign their teeth. Taking steps to improve structure while baby teeth are still present can prevent more invasive or complicated procedures later, making braces a much more comfortable experience. 

Jaw Issues

Jaw issues can lead to discomfort in many situations, such as digestion, enamel loss, and migraines. If you feel pain or hear a clicking noise when you open your mouth, we recommend seeking treatment to help resolve things. These complications can worsen if left untreated and affect your overall health.

Our Treatment Options

Early Two-Phase Treatment

Early two-phase treatment can benefit your child’s oral health later in life. During phase one, we provide partial braces, retainers, expanders, and other appliances. As mentioned, their jawbone and gums are very malleable during this time, making certain results almost impossible if too much time passes before beginning care. Dr. Mahlmann and Dr. Borders will monitor and guide their teeth before starting braces treatment. The second phase involves braces later as a teen.

Clear Aligners

We provide both Invisalign and 3M Clarity for those interested in a treatment different from braces. These appliances realign your teeth with the help of plastic trays worn for 22 hours daily that are switched out every two weeks. Our team uses a 3D model of your teeth to customize each set of trays for efficient treatment. You can continue eating and drinking as usual, thanks to them being a removable appliance taken out at mealtime.

Metal Braces

The most popular option for braces among our patients is modern metal braces. This appliance has an incredible track record and can fix any issue. Our sturdy brackets are made of stainless steel and are smaller than ever, providing a subtle appearance and comfortable feel throughout treatment. Each component works together to place constant pressure on your teeth in different directions to achieve perfect alignment.

Clear Braces

An aesthetic alternative to metal braces is clear braces. They use the same technology to realign your smile, though they use tooth-colored ceramic brackets and other components that blend in with your smile’s natural color. They also resist staining, so you don’t have to worry about how dark foods or liquids might discolor your appliance.

When Should You See An Orthodontist?

Take the First Step Toward Treatment Today!

Coming in for orthodontic treatment can be intimidating, but Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics ensures your first appointment is nothing to fear. Dr. Mahlmann, Dr. Borders, and the rest of our team work to keep your oral health in perfect shape! Schedule your free consultation at our Richmond practice today and get started on life-changing treatment. We proudly serve the surrounding communities and love getting to meet new patients!