If you did not have braces as a teenager, it does not mean you missed an opportunity to improve your smile. Many adults are terrified of going to the dentist out of fear that they’ll need braces. However, braces have come a long way since the days of metallic, protruding wires. Nowadays braces are available in neutral, tooth coloured or removable aligners (more on that in #9). Plus, treatment time has been greatly reduced and you could see an improved smile in a year or two depending on the severity of your orthodontic issues.
Braces use gentle pressure to move your teeth into the desired position. When your teeth are straight, they are easier to clean and you’re less likely to find yourself with a bad case of tooth decay or gum disease in the future.
If you’re still unsure about whether or not to get braces, the 10 reasons below should help convince you that an orthodontic treatment is only temporary and will be over before you know it.
- Your jaw structure is off: When your bite is off due to your upper jaw being overgrown and your lower jaw being under grown, or both occurring, you will benefit from braces. When our bite is off, we run the risk of damaging our teeth and gums.
- You have an overbite: An overbite happens when the upper front teeth cover the lower front teeth. In severe cases, the lower front teeth will bite into the roof of the mouth causing damage to the tissues.
- You have an underbite: When your lower jaw extends out further in front of the upper jaw making your lower front teeth protrude outwards, you have an underbite. Without orthodontic intervention, underbites will result in more wear and tear than your teeth need and surgical correction is inevitable.
- You have spacing issues: Spacing is the result of proportionately small teeth, missing teeth (knocked out from an injury or extraction by your dentist when a tooth has severely decayed), or discrepancies with the teeth or jaws. When you have spacing issues in your mouth, your teeth will suffer from misalignment and be unable to function properly.
- Your teeth are crowded: When our adult teeth erupt from our gums, they need ample room to get into position. When there isn’t enough space, crowding occurs. Crowding, when left alone, will lead you to undergo tooth extraction.
- Your bite is open: In people whose upper and lower front teeth do not overlap, it is called an open bite. If you notice that your lower and upper teeth do not touch when you bite, you probably have one. Thumbsucking is usually the culprit when it comes to openbites. This may not be something you’ve done since you were a toddler, but the effects last a long time. When an open bite is left untreated, you are compromising your natural chewing function and speech.
- You have a crossbite: When the upper and lower teeth grow to be too narrow or too wide in relation to each other, you will develop a crossbite. Crossbites that aren’t fixed result in your teeth wearing down and can cause your jaw to shift into a misaligned position.
- Your teeth are impacted: When a permanent tooth cannot grow into its normal position, it becomes impacted. Impacted teeth have many causes that range from crowding, growth obstruction from other teeth, an extra tooth forming, or a tooth developing in the inverse direction. If you do not correct an impacted tooth, you risk having to have it surgically removed because it has interfered with the roots and other teeth in the area.
- You can benefit from Invisalign: Invisalign consists of removable aligners that are worn for 20-22 hour a day. You take them off to eat and clean them. For those that have less severe orthodontic issues, these clear aligners could prove to be very helpful. Invisalign is only worn for 3-12 months and unlike traditional braces, you will get a new set of aligners every couple of weeks. Each set of aligners applies the same gentle pressure that braces do, except they do it for 2-6 weeks at a time.
- Your self-esteem has suffered: When our smiles aren’t perfect, we tend to shy away from laughing or exposing our teeth in general. Some of us will even hide our smiles behind our hand when we chuckle. When you get braces, your self-esteem will definitely improve. You won’t have to worry about having a crooked bite or impacted teeth once your treatment is finished. For those that are worried about having to wear braces for 1-2 years, that time will fly by. After a few weeks, you won’t even notice that you’re wearing them and soon enough, it’ll be time to take them off and marvel at your beautiful new smile.
No matter how old you are, there are numerous benefits of braces. If you think you might need braces, or to see if you are a good candidate for Invisalign, please contact us. Let us improve your oral health and give you a gorgeous smile in the process.