When to See an Orthodontist


At Kattner Orthodontics, we proudly provide children, teenagers, and adults living in the Waukegan, Gurnee, Zion, and Beach Park, IL areas with exceptional orthodontic care using the latest orthodontic appliances and cutting-edge technology. Whether you’re looking for an orthodontist around Gurnee, IL to help your child achieve a healthy and attractive smile or wonder if you could benefit from adult treatment, we can meet all your family’s orthodontic needs in one convenient location!

When To Visit Your Gurnee Orthodontist

Kattner Orthodontics - Gurnee OrthodontistMany people wonder when it’s the right time to see an orthodontist. There is more than one answer to this question, but the basics of it is: you should visit an orthodontist if you have questions regarding how your teeth are aligned or the quality of your bite.

There are other conditions which indicate a trip to the orthodontist is necessary, including:

  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Grinding or clenching the teeth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally
  • The inability to close the lips comfortably
  • Jaws which frequently shift or make sounds when they move
  • Unintentional biting of the cheek or roof of the mouth

These are all signs that it’s time to set up an initial consultation with an orthodontist for a thorough orthodontic evaluation.

Orthodontic Care for Children

In addition to the guidelines above, there are some specific recommendations for children. Our orthodontist Dr. Paul Kattner agrees with the recommendation made by the American Association of Orthodontists that all children should receive their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7 or 8.

By the time a child reaches the age of 7 or 8, many of the adult teeth have starting coming in, which allows an orthodontist to identify any potential problems and to see if there’s sufficient room available to accommodate the adult teeth which have yet to emerge through the gums.

When many types of orthodontic problems are caught early, they’re easier, less costly and less difficult to treat because the child’s teeth and jaws are still developing.

There are some signs to watch for in your child which may indicate the need for orthodontic treatment, including:

  • The early or late loss of primary teeth
  • A prolonged thumb-sucking habit
  • Mouth breathing
  • Tongue thrusting

If you notice any of these signs in your child, we recommend visiting our office. It is important to note that your child’s first visit to an orthodontist doesn’t automatically mean that your child will need to begin treatment right away, as it may be better to start treatment at a later date. Most children don’t begin active orthodontic treatment until they’re between the ages of 9 and 14. However, by having your child seen early by an orthodontist, you will be providing him or her with the best opportunity to have a healthy and beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.

Adult Orthodontic Treatment

If you’re an adult who is not confident in your smile because you have crooked, crowded or misaligned teeth, you should definitely see an orthodontist. At Kattner Orthodontics, many of our patients are adults who’ve realized that orthodontic treatment is not just for kids anymore. With so many choices in orthodontic appliances today including translucent ceramic braces and Invisalign clear aligners, adults can improve their smiles discreetly, quickly, and efficiently.

Visit Your Gurnee, IL Area Orthodontist

Regardless of your age or orthodontic needs, Dr. Kattner and his friendly team can help you achieve the healthy and beautiful smile you deserve! We love meeting new patients and watching their smiles transform. Simply complete the appointment request form to set up your first visit with us at our Waukegan office. We’re exciting about seeing you soon and helping you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of!