Your teeth are important for a many reasons. While they help you chew, eat, and speak, your teeth also make up your smile, which greatly affects your appearance and self-esteem. Unfortunately, issues affecting the location of your teeth can lead to underlying dental problems, eating difficulties, speech impediments, discomfort, and even self-esteem issues.
Thankfully, orthodontic treatment can help. With this guide, you will learn a few common reasons why you may need orthodontic treatment.
1. Crooked Teeth
There are many causes of crooked teeth. For instance, your baby or permanent teeth may not have erupted properly. Or you may have suffered a trauma to the mouth that displaced or knocked out one or more teeth. Certain habits such as thumb sucking, a pacifier, or a bottle used for a long period of time after to primary teeth have erupted, can affect the location and alignment of teeth.
No matter what the cause, orthodontic treatment to straighten the crooked teeth is important. Crooked teeth affect your smile and your overall appearance. However, they can also affect your oral health. It is more difficult to brush and floss teeth that are not aligned properly. The inability to properly cleanse these areas increases your risk of plaque accumulation, tooth decay and gum disease.
Teeth that are misaligned will also put more pressure on adjacent teeth and gums. This stress could lead to eroded enamel, cracks, broken teeth, and jaw discomfort. Finally, crooked teeth could prevent you from eating and speaking normally.
An abnormal alignment of your bite will also require orthodontic treatment. Here are a few examples of bite misalignments:
- Overbite – An overbite refers to the top row of teeth overlapping the bottom row of teeth. Overbites are the most common type of malocclusion, or bite misalignment.
- Underbites – An underbite occurs when the lower row of teeth are in front of the upper row of teeth when the jaw is closed.
- Crossbite – Crossbites are diagnosed if one or more teeth tilt towards the check or towards the tongue.
If you or your child has any of the bite malocclusions, talk to an orthodontist today. Bite misalignments are not only unappealing, but they can also affect your oral health, eating ability, and speech in a similar manner as crooked teeth affect the way your smile looks and your self-esteem.
The type of treatment used will depend on your specific bite problem. Braces or clear aligners can be effective for moving the teeth to improve the bite alignment. In some malocclusions a palatal expander may also be utilized to make room for teeth that are blocked out with no room to erupt.
Overcrowding is also a concern that can be repaired with orthodontic treatment. Overcrowding occurs if your teeth erupt into the upper or lower jaw even though there is not enough space. The teeth may begin to erupt on top of other teeth, pushing adjacent teeth into abnormal positions, which lead to crooked teeth and various other dental issues.
This stress on the jaw and other teeth can also irritate the gum tissue, causing redness, swelling, bleeding, and pain.
Fixing an overcrowded smile is a bit more complicated than straightening crooked teeth. In some cases, removal of one or more teeth may be necessary to create the space needed for a straight, aligned smile.
Braces are the most common treatment option for patients dealing with overcrowding. For severe crowding, orthodontists usually recommend conventional metal braces. Ceramic braces or clear orthodontic aligners are best for less severe crowding issues.
Crooked teeth, misaligned bites, and crowded teeth are not life-threatening issues, but they can impact your oral health, appearance, and self-esteem. For information on correcting these common problems, consult Crest Hill Family Dental about orthodontic solutions.