Of course, only you can answer this post’s question. But sometimes it’s tricky knowing where to begin. You know how you feel about your teeth, and whether you have a positive or negative view of your smile. That’s simple enough. When it comes to malocclusion, things get a bit more confusing. How crooked is too crooked? Could your teeth/oral health benefit from straightening? Is now the time to pursue orthodontic treatment?

Dr. Kim Okamura can help you decide. Read on to learn more about signs that you may want to learn more about straightening your teeth, whether Invisalign could be a potential treatment option, and what you can expect from the process. If you’d like to have a conversation with Dr. Kim about your own smile, just schedule a consultation and we’ll be in touch soon.

Are My Teeth Crying Out for Orthodontic Treatment?

The only time when you “need” to do something is when the existing problem is a threat to your wellbeing – and for some patients, their occlusions are definitely problematic. For others, while their teeth don’t demand orthodontic treatment, other aspects of their lives do, most notably their confidence levels.

To put it simply: if your smile is crooked and affecting you negatively (in any way), then exploring straightening is a good idea. Some of these occlusion-related problems might include:

  • Self-consciousness about crooked teeth
  • Accidentally biting your tongue or lips
  • Struggling to fit your teeth together or chew easily
  • Jaw pain or disfunction

If your malocclusion (bad bite) requires orthodontic treatment, your dentist has probably mentioned this to you at one of your exams. You might have hesitated to pursue treatment for any number of reasons, with one of the most pressing being the appearance of metal braces. The good news is: 1) it’s never too late for orthodontic treatment, and 2) your straightening doesn’t necessarily have to involve metal brackets and wires.

Am I an Invisalign Candidate?


Invisalign is an alternative straightening method that allows teens and adults to realign their teeth without making big changes to their lives. The most significant impact Invisalign will have on you is the gorgeous new smile that it makes possible. Invisalign isn’t right for every malocclusion, but after x-rays and an exam, Dr. Kim will be able to tell whether alternative orthodontics could suit your teeth. Before your consultation, you can also take the Invisalign Smile Assessment to get a better idea of your treatment options (this is not a substitute for a consultation, just an opportunity to get more information).

Since Invisalign aligners are removable, treatment success depends upon patient actions. We’re there to help you along the way, but you’ll only have office visits every 6 weeks. In between, it’s crucial that you adhere to these steps:

  • Wear your aligners 20-22 hours per day – Invisalign only works if your aligners are in place. If you struggle to remember to put them back right after eating, set a reminder on your phone each time you take them out!
  • Clean your teeth well after eating/drinking – Make sure your newly straight smile isn’t plagued by cavities. Bring a travel-sized toothbrush and floss with you throughout the day so that you can clean on the go.
  • Keep your check-up appointments – These appointments allow Dr. Kim to be sure that your straightening is progressing properly. If you miss one, it could take a little time to reschedule, throwing treatment off track.
  • Switch to new aligners on schedule – Mark the dates on your calendar so that you’re sure to switch to new aligners on the appropriate date.

If you’re ever curious about Invisalign, just give us a call! Treatment could give your teeth (and your confidence) what they’ve been missing.

Seattle Sedation Dentist | Best Dentist Seattle | Sedation Dentistry Seattle
Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.