Most people think of braces as a method for straightening teeth to improve appearance. But did you know that proper tooth alignment also improves your overall health? When your teeth are in proper occlusion (how your bite fits together), you are more likely to avoid bite-related issues and maintain optimal dental health. In his Louisville, KY practice, also serving Radcliff, KY, Dr. Knight can explain why braces are an important aspect of dentistry and can help determine if orthodontic treatment is right for you.
How to Know If You Need Braces
Dr. Knight can perform a free consultation to determine if braces may be a solution for you. During the consultation, your overall dental health will be evaluated. The use of up-to-date technology and modern diagnostic scans will help establish your individual orthodontic needs. If you notice any of the following, you may be a candidate for braces:
- Overbite: The upper front teeth protrude out over the lower teeth, or are positioned too far forward.
- Underbite: The lower teeth are positioned beyond, or in front of, the upper teeth.
- Open bite: When the back teeth bite together, the front teeth do not touch each other. In other words, there is space between the biting surfaces.
- Crossbite: When biting together normally, the upper teeth are not slightly in front of the lower teeth.
- Crowding: This occurs when the teeth are “bunched up” together, or when there are too many teeth to fit properly in the jawbone.
- Spacing: Gaps can occur between the teeth, either due to malposition or missing teeth.
- Improper midline placement: This can occur when the upper front teeth do night line up properly with your lower front teeth.
Benefits of Braces
The advantages of orthodontic treatment far surpass aesthetics alone. Because braces effectively prevent more serious health issues, investing in your dental health now can save you money in the future. With braces, you achieve optimal function and teeth that are likely to last a lifetime.
Crooked teeth can put excessive stress on the muscles in your jaw, potentially leading to head, neck, and shoulder pain. Misalignment is also a primary risk factor for the development of TMJ issues, such as temporomandibular joint disorder. Orthodontic treatment offers abundant benefits for patients of all ages:
- Improved confidence: A beautiful smile leads to a better appearance. Patients of any age can appreciate more self-assuredness.
- Superior function: Correcting tooth alignment improves your tooth function while eating, chewing, and speaking.
- Reduce the risk of trauma-related injury: When teeth are misaligned or protruding, there is an increased risk of damage in the case of trauma.
- Enhanced force distribution: Braces help balance your bite, resulting in less wear and tear on your teeth.
- Assists in the positioning of permanent teeth: When braces are worn during developmental years, they can help “hold space” for adult teeth, and guide them into the most favorable positions once they erupt.
- Improved hygiene: When your teeth are in the correct position, you are able to brush and floss them better. When your teeth are more cleansable, you reduce the risk of developing decay and periodontal disease.