Braces and orthodontic treatment are used to correct malocclusions (teeth that are crowded or crooked). In some cases your teeth may be straight, but your upper and lower jaws may not meet properly. These jaw or tooth alignment problems may be inherited or could result from injury, early or late tooth loss or a habit (thumb or pacifier).
Correcting the problem can create a nice-looking smile, but more importantly, orthodontic treatment results in a healthier mouth. Not correcting an abnormal bite could result in further oral health problems including:
- tooth decay
- gum disease
- tooth loss
- affected speech and/or chewing
- abnormal wear to tooth enamel
- jaw problems
Orthodontic treatment often begins between ages 8-14. Treatment that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results. That doesn’t mean that adults can’t have braces; healthy teeth can be orthodontically treated at any age.
Today’s braces are more comfortable than ever before. Newer materials apply a constant, gentle force to move teeth and usually require fewer adjustments. While you have braces, it is very important to maintain a balanced diet and limit snacks that are high in sugar. It will take more time to brush and floss your teeth while in braces but the result will be a beautiful and healthy smile!