Braces are a great way to develop a straight, beautiful smile, but there are many benefits and reasons aside from the well-known cosmetic result. There are a large number orthodontic treatments and procedures used to correct all sorts of dental conditions, and braces can be used to fix many of them. Here are four common reasons that people of all ages need braces:
1. Close or Reduce a Gap between Teeth
Some physical traits add personality and character, which explains why there are several successful athletes and starlets with a gap between their teeth. However, many people choose to visit an orthodontist to have the gap closed. This may be for several reasons, including how it looks or feels, the gap is causing difficulties with chewing, or perhaps because the teeth on either side of the gap have grown in or become crooked.
2. Facial Structure
Depending on your ancestry and genes, your entire side of the family may be predisposed to a certain dental condition. For example, some individuals have a protruding lower jaw that may cause an underbite. Sometimes, however, dental issues are truly unique to an individual depending on their facial structure, despite genetics. An individual’s unique facial shape may include a smaller lower jaw that causes tooth crowding or more severe overjet. In more extreme cases involving misaligned jaws, your orthodontist may recommend surgery. Thankfully, many of these conditions can be corrected using only braces.
3. Bite Issues
Overbites occur when there is over growth or over eruption of the upper and lower anterior teeth . Most people have a slight overbite, which is natural and harmless. In fact, it likely aids our unique eating habits. As long as the molars fit together, and the lower teeth do not push on the uppers, slight overbites are not usually a concern. However, severe overbites, as well as underbites, cross bites, and other misalignment issues, can cause a host of problems if left untreated. Issues may include improper chewing, speech defects, enamel damage, and jaw pain. It is important for young children to visit a dentist and orthodontist on a regular basis so that any potential bite problems can be identified and treated early.
4. Close Gaps Caused by Treatment for Crowded Teeth
As mentioned above, some individuals naturally form a gap between one or more teeth. In other cases, however, gaps may be introduced by extracting one or more teeth as a treatment for crowded teeth. When teeth do not have enough room to grow properly, they may rotate, overlap, or protrude while fighting for space. Also, overcrowded teeth can be much more difficult to clean. Your child, teen, or even spouse may not be willing to put in the effort to properly floss each night and ensure that the toothbrush cleans every area. Unfortunately, poor dental hygiene can lead to , cavities, gum disease, or bone loss that might ultimately cause tooth loss.
To treat crowded teeth, your orthodontist may recommend strategically pulling one or more teeth in order to make room for the remaining teeth. Braces will be used to guide the remaining teeth into the proper place, filling in the gaps and straightening the crooked smile. Treating crowded teeth will improve a smile’s appearance as well as reduce tooth wear and jaw pain.
Whether you simply want a straighter smile or have one of the dental conditions listed above, it may be time to seriously consider getting braces or asking about Invisalign trays.