If you’re thinking about getting orthodontic treatment, you will likely find it useful to understand the common orthodontic issues that braces can correct. At the orthodontist, they will assess and diagnose your oral health, evaluate where your teeth are positioned, the size of your jaw, and take into account other helpful factors to determine your complete treatment plan.
How Can Braces Help Me?
Orthodontic treatment has many benefits, including:
- Well-aligned teeth (which allows for proper chewing, talking, and speaking)
- An aesthetically-pleasing smile
- Can prevent abnormal tooth wear
- Can correct poorly-aligned bites before the teeth sustain injury or trauma
- Allows for better oral hygiene (crowded and incorrectly-spaced teeth are harder to keep clean and may lead to an increased risk of tartar buildup and tooth decay)
Braces work through applying continual pressure on teeth, encouraging them to shift into the correct position.
10 Orthodontic Issues Braces Can Solve
- Jaw misalignment
A misaligned jaw is called a malocclusion. In malocclusion, the upper and lower teeth do not meet comfortably. Braces can move the upper jaw forward or backward to correct the malocclusion.
- Overcrowded teeth
Orthodontists treat crowded teeth by removing one or more teeth, then using braces to move the remaining teeth into their correct position. Overcrowded teeth are challenging to brush and floss. Food particles and bacteria can be left behind, leading to tartar and plaque buildup, which may lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
- Crooked and twisted teeth
Crooked or twisted teeth often leave individuals more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay, for the same reasons as overcrowding.
- Excess spacing between teeth
Too much space between teeth is one of the leading reasons people get braces. Incorrectly spaced teeth may interfere with proper chewing and dental hygiene as well.
An overbite happens when the upper teeth are positioned forward over the lower teeth. Braces can shift the upper teeth back towards the lower teeth.
The opposite of overbite, an underbite occurs when the lower teeth are too far forward, or the upper teeth are too far back. Braces can move either the upper or lower teeth, or both, to correct the underbite.
- Open bite
An open bite occurs when the front upper and lower teeth slant outward, preventing them from touching upon biting down. Open bites can cause chewing and biting challenges. They can also create lisps and other speech problems.
A crossbite happens when only some of your upper teeth do not come down over the lower teeth when biting. A crossbite leaves the teeth vulnerable to tooth breaks, fractures, and receding gums.
An overjet is a poorly-aligned bite caused by a horizontal overlap of specific teeth. It is not the same as an overbite. Overjet is commonly referred to as “buck teeth.”
Braces are a solution which correctly aligns the upper and lower teeth, preventing irregular pressure on the temporomandibular joint, which can lead to TMD.