Brace Yourself - Do You Need Orthodontic Treatment?

Brace Yourself - Do You Need Orthodontic Treatment?

Brace Yourself – Do You Need Orthodontic Treatment?

When dentists see patients with misaligned teeth, whether they are adults, teens or children, they will likely discuss orthodontic treatment with the patient.  It’s common to see children and teens with braces, retainers or oral appliances that are meant to correct tooth alignment issues.  Kids today find braces fashionable, even stylish with the use of interchangeable colored bands to match the season or their sneakers.   It’s also becoming more common to see adults with braces or appliances.  Adults are interested in correcting imperfections in their smiles, and they’re doing something about it at record rates.

How do you know if orthodontic treatment will benefit you?  First, if you’re unhappy with your smile or the way your teeth look – from alignment to crowding, talk to your dentist.  He or she can give you some cosmetic as well as medical tips that might help you make your decision.  Key factors to consider before undergoing orthodontic treatment include:

  • Misaligned teeth – teeth that are crooked, overlapping or crowded or that do not fit together properly are at a greater risk decay because it is more difficult to keep them clean.  In addition, they may wear against one another, increasing the risk of cracks, erosion or periodontal issues as we age. 
  • Malocclusion – A difference in the size of the top and bottom jaws causing overbite or underbite and a crossbite are all reasons to seek orthodontic treatment.  These issues can lead jaw pain, headaches and tooth erosion.  However, in adult patients, jaw surgery may be required because unlike in teen patients, adult bone is finished growing and is less responsive to pressure that is designed to move it.
  • Good oral hygiene – A must if you are to undergo orthodontic treatment.  If you’re not great at flossing or cleaning your teeth daily, or if you have any type of gum irritation or periodontal disease, you’re not a candidate for braces.  Any teen will tell you that they require scrupulous care – with water piks, toothbrushes, mouthwashes and more.
  • Few cavities, crowns or past dental treatments – in other words, a clean bill of healthy teeth.  Crowns, extracted teeth and cavities can interfere with the orthodontic treatment.

Talk to your dentist and a recommended orthodontist.  Gather the facts and explore the possibilities and improvements that orthodontic treatment can offer.