A straight smile isn't just about appearances. If you or your child have teeth that stick out, don't fit together properly or have gaps, this could impact on your quality of life in a number of ways.
Talking to your dentist will help you understand how orthodontics could solve these problems. Here are five common reasons adults and teenagers choose orthodontic treatment.
Protruding teeth are more vulnerable to damage and may be chipped, cracked or knocked out more easily in sporting accidents or trips and falls. Teeth that don't bite together properly may also dig into the gum or rub against other teeth, causing injury or wear.
Straightening teeth with braces or another orthodontic option can bring your teeth into alignment so they fit together more correctly and the risk of damage and injuries will be reduced.
If your teeth stick out or don't touch the teeth on the opposite side, this can affect your ability to chew and bite down. If this causes you to avoid certain foods, your nutrition and health could be affected.
Braces move the teeth and jaws to align the chewing surfaces of teeth and help them to fit together more accurately. Eating with braces can take a little while to get used to though, and your dentist may advise that you avoid certain types of foods that could damage the braces, such as sticky foods and popcorn.
Orthodontic problems also affect some people's ability to talk. Overbite – the upper teeth overlapping the bottom teeth – may cause a lisp, while gaps between teeth can create a whistling noise when certain sounds are pronounced.
Braces can bring teeth into alignment and close gaps between teeth to improve speech. Wearing braces can affect speech too, but this is usually only temporary as the tongue gets used to the feel of braces in the mouth.
If your teeth are crooked or crowded together, it can be difficult to clean all of their surfaces properly when brushing and flossing. This means more plaque and leftover food can remain on your teeth, increasing the risk of oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Braces can move your teeth into their desired positions to make dental hygiene easier and lower your risks of oral health problems.
If you're not happy with the way your teeth look or the way they make you sound, this can be a blow to your self esteem. Children with orthodontic problems may feel social anxiety and be less involved in activities in and out of school as a result.
Modern braces are a far cry from the 'train tracks' of the past, as they're designed to be less noticeable and more comfortable in the mouth. If you don't like the idea of braces, your orthodontist may offer other straightening options that are a better match for you, depending on your individual needs.
If you want to know more about braces and other orthodontic options for you or your child, make an orthodontic appointment at Swish Dental.
Australian Society of Orthodontists. Why do people want straight teeth? [Online] 2015 [Accessed June 2019] Available from: https://www.aso.org.au/why-do-people-want-straight-teeth-0
Better Health Channel. Orthodontic treatment [Online] 2018 [Accessed June 2019] Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/orthodontic-treatment
Healthdirect. Orthodontic treatments [Online] 2017 [Accessed June 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/orthodontic-treatments