You’d be surprised at the many different reasons why people need braces. They can be used for much more than just correcting crooked teeth. From spacing issues to fixing your jaw alignment, braces can help you with a diverse amount of orthodontic needs.
Crooked teeth is the most commonly why people need braces and is most likely what you think of when someone says they need braces. Teeth can be crooked for many different reasons, one of which is when adult teeth start to come in before the baby teeth fall out.
Sometimes your jaw does not have enough room for all of your adult teeth even if your baby teeth do fall out at the right time. These crooked teeth can be difficult to keep clean and may make you self-conscious.
Because baby teeth can come out at irregular times and cause issues for your adult teeth, your dentist may have pulled some of your baby teeth out. Combined with braces, this will help your adult teeth align correctly.
Both braces and Invisalign work to bring your teeth in line with each other so you can have that smile you’ve always wanted and you are able to take the best care of your teeth.
Bite and jaw alignment issues are also known as malocclusions. Braces can help if your jaws don’t line up perfectly when your mouth is closed. This can cause many different issues and make it more difficult to eat, chew, and speak.
There are three different types of malocclusions:
Overbites: When you close your mouth, your top teeth overlap too far over your bottom teeth. This is the most common type of bite issue and can sometimes be caused by overuse of pacifiers and excessive thumb-sucking as a child. Using braces and rubber bands can bring your upper jaw back in line with your lower jaw.
Underbites: This occurs when your lower jaw protrudes out past your upper jaw. Underbites are not usually too extreme, but they can still result in irregular tooth wear from the upper teeth grinding on the bottom teeth. Braces can usually fix this issue by bringing the teeth back to their positions. However, sometimes surgery is needed for more serious cases.
Crossbites: This malocclusion is the result of the upper and lower teeth not aligning correctly when the mouth is closed. The upper jaw is supposed to just overlap over the lower jaw, but sometimes if a baby tooth does not fall out correctly, the adult tooth can come in at an irregular angle and sit incorrectly. If a singular tooth is the only issue, braces can bring it back in line with the rest, but if crowding is a problem, sometimes a palatal expander is needed.
What To Do If You Need Braces
If you think you need braces or have any discomfort with how you look, eat, or speak because of your teeth, you should see an orthodontist. Your dentist may have a list of referrals for you, but if not, be sure to choose your orthodontist carefully after much research.
If your child has any orthodontic issues, it is recommended that they see an orthodontist as early as age seven to best prepare them for treatment. This will allow the orthodontist to carry out their orthodontic plan for them as easily and effectively as possible.
At your first appointment, the orthodontist will examine your teeth and determine what the best course of action would be to correct any issues they see. Photographs and x-rays may also be taken.