Orthodontic treatment is a solution for a variety of dental issues. Your smile may not only look like it could benefit from wearing braces, but your oral health might also benefit as well. Often, a healthy mouth includes teeth that are aligned properly to allow for good cleaning and maintenance. It’s helpful to identify orthodontic problems early so that action may be taken at that time or planned for in the future.
What are some signs that you might benefit from braces? Here are some common indicators to help you recognize when it’s time to make an orthodontist appointment for you or your child.
The most common reason that patients visit the orthodontist is for teeth that are too crowded. It indicates that there is not enough space in the mouth to fit all the teeth. Therefore, the teeth crowd into each other and become crooked. Crowded teeth can be difficult to clean and usually worsen over time. Tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath can all result. Orthodontic treatment straightens the teeth and helps avoid pain and oral health problems.
Another popular reason for orthodontic treatment is a problem with the bite. There are several types of abnormal bites that can usually be treated with braces:
• Overbite – When the front upper teeth overlap the front lower teeth, it’s called an overbite. It can be very noticeable and embarrassing, and increases risks for trauma to the front teeth.
• Underbite – An underbite occurs when the upper front teeth are aligned behind the lower front teeth. It is often an indicator of disproportionate jaw size, causing imbalanced facial appearance, difficulty eating, or accelerated facial aging.
• Cross bite – An abnormal bite in which the upper tooth is behind the lower opposite tooth is called a cross bite. It may lead to excessive tooth wear or fracture, gum recession, or asymmetric jaw growth.
• Open bite – When the bite doesn’t allow the front teeth to touch at all, it results in an open bite. Lisps and trouble biting or eating may result.
If you have any of these bite issues or teeth crowding, schedule a visit with an orthodontist to see if it’s time for treatment.