Are braces a fashion trend among teenagers? Read this article to learn about various scenarios when braces can be of help to you.
‘Braces’ is a term used in our common language to denote a fixed orthodontic appliance that is mainly used to correct problems with alignment and position of the teeth. Braces are used in a variety of cases, and their need is more usual than not needing them. It is estimated that only about 35 % of adults have normally aligned teeth.
Earlier, braces were used for treatment only at a young age and were customary among teenagers. However, in the last few years, a lot of development and research in dentistry and the biomedical field have led to the making of improved and advanced oral appliances, including braces and their adjunct materials. In addition, there has also been an increased awareness of better esthetics which backed the idea of having braces for adults too. So, now braces are being used by adults also.
Braces not only help in rendering a good smile, but they also provide improved functions of the jaw and mouth. There are a lot of conditions that require treatment with braces. Some of them are as follows:
Tooth Misalignment: It is very common for people of all age groups. The teeth can be misaligned in any area of the jaw, and it can be a cause of other problems like an overbite, open bite, crossbite, or underbite.
Unmatched Midlines: Dental midlines of both the jaws should be matching in a person’s mouth. Unmatched midlines can cause discomfort while eating and smiling.
Crowded Teeth: When you have crooked teeth, in other words, the teeth are irregularly positioned and are very close to one another, almost overlapping. Crowding is caused due to the disproportionate tooth-to-jaw size relationship. When teeth get insufficient space to grow, they become crowded. This further leads to teeth rotating to fit into the space or overlapping surrounding teeth.
If crowding is not treated, it can lead to gum disease over time, bacterial problems in the mouth, tooth decay, and damage to the temporomandibular joints. This malocclusion type can usually be treated by expansion without leading to extraction.
Proclined Teeth: When teeth are not straight and are inclined forward, causing the mouth to remain open or making it difficult to close the mouth. Proclined teeth have issues like increased overbite, buck teeth, and increased overjet where there is an angular slant to the upper teeth. Such patients seek orthodontic treatment feeling self-conscious and often unattractive.
Spacing Between Teeth: When the teeth in the upper or lower jaws or both have gaps or spaces between them. The spaces between the teeth can increase the risk of bacteria and plaque and cause premature tooth decay. Patients with spacing issues can also have difficulty chewing, talking, and biting into hard foods. If this problem is left untreated, gaps between teeth may cause the remaining teeth to drift, complicating the problem further.
Retroclined Teeth: When the teeth are inclined backward and give your face an elderly look.
Increased Overjet: It is caused when the horizontal gap between the upper front teeth and the lower front teeth is more than 2 mm on closing the jaws. This comes with several oral and other health problems. There is also an increased risk of trauma to the front teeth and the likelihood of fracturing the front teeth in the case of an injury. Overbites can also cause extreme tooth wear and gum receding.
Increased Overbite: It is caused when the vertical gap between the upper and lower front teeth is more than 2 mm on closing the jaws. Sometimes, the lower front teeth can even impinge into the roof of the mouth, causing gum injury.
This condition can result in jaw pain due to strained muscles and can make eating difficult. Overbite patients are also more prone to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Overbites can also cause the wearing of the teeth.
Proclined Upper Jaw: When the upper jaw is positioned too forward than the lower jaw (normally, the upper jaw is placed slightly forward than the lower jaw), then it causes many other issues like deep overbite and gum diseases, and spacing.
Proclined Lower Jaw: This condition occurs when all the upper front teeth are behind the lower front teeth. It usually occurs when patients have a disproportionate jaw size of either jaw. It is an issue that can be treated easily when caught early in a person’s life. It can lead to premature tooth wear if left untreated, especially in the front teeth. The front teeth can get chipped off or broken while doing tasks like eating. Chewing can be difficult in such patients due to the misalignment in the jaw position.
Crossbite of Tooth or Teeth: When an upper tooth or teeth lies behind the lower opposing tooth on the closure of the jaws, it is called a crossbite. This is an abnormal bite and should not be left untreated. Without proper treatment, a crossbite can cause asymmetric jaw growth, extreme wear of teeth, and increased gum receding of the affected tooth or teeth. Crossbites can be fixed, but delay in the treatment leads to an inability to restore fractured or worn teeth.
Open Bite: Another type of abnormal bite is the open bite, in which the top and bottom front teeth do not overlap at all. If you bite down and your back teeth do not touch their opposing teeth, then you could have an open bite. Open bites cause speech problems and difficulty in biting, depending on whether it is present in the front teeth or back teeth. This issue often arises through habits like thumb sucking or mouth breathing, but it can also be genetically passed through generations.
Rotated Teeth: Many people have teeth that become tilted or twisted in their place. Some teeth may shift over time, especially in cases of gaps caused by missing teeth or uneven dental spacing. Such teeth result in abnormal occlusion, becoming loose and eventually falling out.
Impacted Teeth: When a permanent tooth cannot grow into its normal position, it gets stuck in the bone and gum and becomes impacted. This may cause pain or damage to the tooth, particularly its root. Such teeth cause gum inflammation which calls for immediate attention.
When the teeth do not seem to bite properly with the opposing teeth.
When you feel your smile is not good or very narrow and you need a full and youthful smile.
When you want to improve your smile further, and since orthodontic treatment is the most natural way without any modification to tooth anatomy, fillings, or any enhancements.
When your face is too long, or your chin is more or less prominent.
When you went to an orthodontist but did not get the complete treatment.
When you did not wear the retainers as advised by your orthodontist, or the teeth returned to their original position.
When you doubt whether you need braces or not, or when somebody tells you that you need them, do not wait for opinions from others; just schedule an appointment with an orthodontist to discuss it. An orthodontist is the best person to assess your case and provide you with the best possible treatment options.
Last reviewed at:
27 Jun 2022 - 5 min read
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