Are you thinking about getting braces? You see so many people with gorgeous, stunning teeth – and you have to wonder whether it is because of their lucky genetics or carefully placed orthodontics. Orthodontics is a specialized area of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of conditions affecting the alignment of the teeth and jaw.
How do you know if you need braces?
Is your smile not as straight as you would like it to be? Some people are simply born with crooked teeth, while others are affected by things like thumb sucking or pacifier usage. Some issues your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for include crowded teeth, underbite, open bite, cross bite, deep bite, spacing, wisdom teeth, impacted teeth or missing teeth.
While you may have a normal bite, you may suffer from varying degrees of crowding or spacing, another factor that can lead to misaligned teeth. Crowding is a condition that causes the teeth to overlap, rotate, and in some cases, grow into the incorrect position in the mouth, or in more extreme cases, cause the tooth to become trapped in the bone.
The teeth and jaw relationship begins right from birth, so it’s important to pay close attention to a child’s jaw development. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children should be seen for their first orthodontic consultation no later than age 7. By the time a child is seven years of age, it’s usually quite obvious to a dentist/orthodontist if a patient will have orthodontic problems, as most of the adult teeth should be present. This pre-screening process can help the orthodontist recommend preventative measures or advise on future procedures if necessary. Adults can seek treatment at any time, as it is never too late to correct your teeth.
Are there non-cosmetic benefits?
Among the many benefits of braces is the improvement of small breathing passages or difficulty breathing, especially through the nose. Some of the signs that indicate you have difficulties breathing through your nose area mouth breathing – especially while sleeping, daytime sleepiness, snoring and more.
In addition, braces can help solve the issues of speech impediments, jaw pain, difficulty chewing or eating, sleep apnea, snoring, grinding or clenching teeth, gum disease and tooth decay. Healthy teeth and gums, improved health, relief of breathing issues and enhanced self esteem are just few of the many benefits of correcting your teeth with braces.
To find an orthodontist in your area, you can visit the American Association of Orthodontics website. Ask around among your family and friends to see who they recommend or see themselves, or book an appointment with your family dentist to get their best recommendation.