Most people think that getting braces are for crooked teeth only. But the truth is that there are several other reasons to get brackets cemented on your teeth. There aren’t many people who would get braces just for the fun of it (and probably not many orthodontists who would let people get them just for the fun of it). But there are other reasons besides the obvious one of a mouth full of crooked teeth.
The most common other reason for braces is to realign the jaw. If you’ve ever seen someone with any overbite, an underbite, or a crossbite, they could be good candidates for braces. Another reason for braces is to make space in the mouth for teeth.
Braces are an excellent option for the obvious issue of having crooked teeth. But having a jaw that does not line up or having a crowded mouth can cause distress on your teeth and have negative effects on oral health.
For example, if your teeth do not line up properly top to bottom, there is a good chance that certain teeth are getting used more than others. This means that the teeth that are touching are doing all the work, while the ones that miss their counterpart might not be getting used at all. If teeth are crowded in the mouth, it is more difficult to floss and keep the teeth clean, which can cause bad breath and decay.
An overbite happens when a person’s top teeth sit far ahead of the bottom teeth. In a perfect world, there will only be a millimetre or two of an overlap, but many jaws sit apart with a wide gap in between.
The reasons to fix an overbite are many. If left unattended, a person can experience an aching jaw and will often clench and grinding their teeth at night. Another consequence of an overbite is that it makes a person’s face look shorter. Getting braces to fix an overbite, even if the teeth are already straight, can make a person’s face look much different and most people are happy with the result.
This is the opposite of an overbite, when the bottom teeth are further out than the top teeth. It perhaps looks more obvious than an overbite and can also lead to aches and pains in the jaw. When fixed with orthodontic treatments, again a person’s appearance can appear very different, but most would agree that the change is a nice one.
A crossbite isn’t as well known as an overbite or underbite because it isn’t always as obvious. A person’s teeth might even seem in line and straight, but the back teeth are misaligned. This again can cause wear and tear and can potentially lead to gum disease and bone loss.
Even crowded teeth can often look straight but the teeth in the back are crowded and very close together. It might be a good idea to get braces to straighten them so that it is easier to floss and brush and maintain good oral health.
Braces, of course, are great for crooked teeth, but orthodontic treatments can help with other issues like an overbite, underbite, crossbite, and overcrowding. All of these conditions can lead to decay and loss of teeth, jaw pain, and quickened wear and tear on the teeth.
If you suspect that you might need braces to correct a problem, consult an orthodontist today. If you are in the Surrey or White Rock area, call us at South Surrey Smiles. Our wonderful staff will help answer any questions you might have.
South Surrey Smiles provides the following braces treatment
Dr. Lesley Williams is a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics. She grew up in Victoria, BC with her parents and two sisters.
After being awarded her Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree in 1989, Dr. Williams then spent six years as a dentist in general practice before deciding that she wanted to further her education by undertaking three extra years of highly specialized training in orthodontics. With her Masters in Science (Orthodontics) degree under her belt, she went on to sit the Orthodontic Specialty Fellowship exams through the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. To date, her status as an active leader in the orthodontic profession means that she holds the following qualifications and positions:
- Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
- Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada
- Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics
- Examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and the American Board of Orthodontics.
- Former president of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (representing 2900 orthodontists from the 4 western Canadian provinces and 8 western American states).
- Active member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists.