Many think of orthodontics as a purely cosmetic procedure. However, you can have a “conventionally beautiful” smile or even one that appears straight and still need braces. And people that might think their teeth are crooked may have no need for orthodontics. In the end, it amounts to how your teeth close on one another.
The ultimate goal of orthodontic treatment is to correct what we call malocclusion, or a bad bite. Misaligned teeth are the imperfect positioning of your upper and lower rows of teeth when your jaw is closed. Malocclusion can occur from how the teeth develop. For example, the sizes of your upper and lower jaws and teeth can differ. Or childhood habits like thumb sucking and nail-biting could have caused your teeth’s misalignment.
Health Benefits to Braces
To start with, braces are also supposed to help by providing a better functioning bite. People with anterior open bites, hypodontia, and overjet have difficulty chewing. We also see trauma on front teeth, meaning that, with misalignment, you run the risk of biting down and breaking or chipping them.
Sometimes a misalignment causes a speech impairment. If your incisors are unable to make contact, for example, you will speak through a strong lisp.
Tooth impaction is another possibility. Here, your misaligned teeth or overcrowded teeth have kept new teeth from growing in.
One of the biggest dental health concerns we have bout misaligned teeth is how well you are able to brush your teeth. Especially children, who already have a hard time with proper brushing habits. But either way, when teeth are overcrowded, brushing and flossing are not going to do the job it is supposed to. For this reason, we see more tooth decay, gum disease, and even periodontal disease in mouths with malocclusion. Prolongment of these effects can result in tooth loss and serious infection that dentistry is ultimately attempting to prevent.
At Gentle Dental, we have several orthodontic options for you. The most common choice is traditional braces with brackets and wires. Newer options that blend in better include ceramic braces and the invisible braces” Invisalign®. If you are ready for a consultation on whether you are ready for braces, contact us at any of our locations around Houston near you.