Out of all the parts of the human body, teeth may be one of the most overlooked and underappreciated. Perhaps it takes losing your teeth and receiving dentures to fully appreciate what miracles those little deposits of calcium really are. Many of us recognize when they’re crooked, but we neglect other issues such as an overbite or misaligned teeth that can cause problems down the line.
Let’s go over exactly why braces aren’t just for looks and can be an important part of overall dental hygiene and maintenance. Far from simply fixing crooked teeth, quality corrective orthodontic treatment can be a lifesaver for someone that may develop jaw, gum, or other issues later on.
Fix an Overbite, Save a Headache
The most popular reason people get braces is for aesthetics. While orthodontists do make teeth straighter and look better, braces are not only for looks. In fact, the second most common reason for braces, besides aesthetics, is bite issues.
Ideally, our upper teeth would fit slightly over our lower teeth. But when it does not, orthodontists call this a malocclusion. Sometimes this is hereditary and can’t be helped. Other times it develops because of improper eating habits, thumb sucking, or a host of other causes. Even if the difference in alignment is relatively minor, over time it can add up to chipped teeth and other forms of wear and tear. Through braces, and other orthodontic tools, this can be reduced and fixed for greater comfort and eating experiences.
Having an overbite or misaligned teeth can eventually cause the painful condition TMJ disorder, which is short for Temporal Mandibular Joint disorder. Temporal Mandibular Joint disorder occurs when the mandibular bone (which is the lower jaw) is out of its proper alignment in some way. This can occur over time, as the ligaments and muscles that hold it in place are stretched or damaged by repetitive motion. It can also happen all at once through some sort of traumatic event. Regardless of how it happens, it can cause pain and tension around the jaw region which can spread to the neck or create headaches. Luckily, this kind of issue is easily fixed with braces.
Crooked Teeth Created Wicked Spaces
Having crooked teeth isn’t just an aesthetic issue: it can quickly become a liability. When your teeth have gaps or are misaligned, they can create spaces for food to hide out in and create tartar and plaque. The creation of tartar and plaque eventually leads to gum disease and tooth decay. In fact, an estimated 91% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 have at least one cavity. By getting braces installed by a trained orthodontist, you minimize your chances of having places for plaque and tartar to build up and develop into real problems.
Crooked teeth can also be a result of overcrowded teeth, which come with their own set of issues that braces try to fix. Overcrowding can make it difficult to brush and flush correctly. Without the ability to take care of your teeth as dentists recommend, you might be putting your oral health at risk.
When you’re looking to improve your smile, consult the team you can trust: Four Corners Orthodontics and Dental.