You may see someone with seemingly perfect teeth and wonder why in the world they are seeking orthodontic treatment. Their smile is perfect, so why go through the trouble of getting fitted for braces or aligners and undergoing months or years of treatment? Well, not all things are how they seem.
Orthodontists don’t just recommend treatment for fun, they recommend it because it is needed. So, if you’re wondering why someone with a perfect smile has braces or is about to start orthodontic treatment, there might problems present that aren’t noticeable. A beautiful smile may be hiding underlying issues.
Many patients who are experiencing jaw problems are good candidates for braces. Although issues affecting the jaw may not be very noticeable, they can cause a lot of problems with everyday tasks. Failure to address jaw issues can result in the following:
- Difficulty with chewing and biting
- Speech problems
- Jaw pain and tenderness
- Ear and facial pain
Although someone may appear to have a perfect smile, it may just seem that way on the surface. Deep down, they are suffering from discomfort and will need the help of an orthodontist to correct this problem.
Slight Bite Issues
A patient doesn’t need to have a very noticeable bite problem to need orthodontic treatment. Overbites and underbites are very common, and don’t need to be severe to require treatment. If not treated, patients run the risk of grinding their teeth, experiencing jaw pain or have difficulty with eating and speaking.
Crossbites, which means the top and bottom side teeth do not meet properly, are even less noticeable than overbites and underbites, but should be taken very seriously. Failure to correct a crossbite can result in excessive wear on the teeth, which can lead to bone loss and gum disease.
Crowding and Spacing Issues
Crowding and spacing issues don’t always occur front and center in the mouth. At first glance, a patient may appear to have a perfect smile; however, there may be crowded or gapped teeth hidden in the back of the mouth. Crowding and spacing issues can lead to a number of problems if left untreated. They can make eating and proper oral hygiene practices more difficult, as a patient can’t properly get in between the teeth when they are too close together, and gapped teeth cause food to become stuck in the unwanted spaces between the teeth. In not cleaning these areas properly, they can harbor bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
A Perfect Smile May Be Deceiving
So, the next time you’re wondering why on Earth someone with a beautiful smile is getting braces, take a moment and think. There is most likely an underlying issue that needs to be treated, so the patient can live a life free from the negative effects of certain orthodontic issues. You may even have felt as though you had a perfect smile, but upon further inspection, may now notice a slight bite problem or crowding issue. It’s best to get evaluated by a professional if you’re unsure, so these issues don’t remain unresolved.