Why Is Orthodontic Treatment Important?
Proper oral health is important, whether you are a child or an adult. While dental cleanings and preventive oral care are critical, orthodontic care is another important way to maintain your smile and your overall health. What are some of the reasons why orthodontic treatment is so important, and should you consider getting traditional braces or Invisalign to improve your smile? Here’s what you need to know!
Look and Feel Better
When many people think about orthodontic care, they think about how smiles appear. It is true that one goal of orthodontics is to make your smile as beautiful as possible. This can include adjusting teeth that are not necessarily in an unhealthy spot to be in a more aesthetically pleasing position. However, orthodontic treatment is not just about looking better, it is also about feeling better and avoiding the potential problems that can come when your teeth are misaligned.
For example, did you know that thousands of adults are diagnosed with temporomandibular disorders every year? These disorders are caused by a variety of things, including misaligned teeth, and they can lead to chronic facial pain, discomfort, and a clicking sound when you speak. TMD is just one of the many things that can be prevented or avoided by investing in orthodontic treatment.
What Are Some of the Reasons People Have Braces or Invisalign?
- Crowded teeth, or teeth that are very close together or overlapping, can be a major problem for your oral health. When teeth are covering each other, it’s virtually impossible to properly clean them and prevent bacteria from accumulating and leading to plaque and tooth decay. Orthodontic treatment will straighten teeth so that they are easier to clean and maintain.
- An overbite, underbite, open bite, or crossbite can be as unhealthy as it is uncomfortable or unattractive. Any bite problem can cause serious damage to your gums and teeth over time. Your dentist will assess your current bite and let you know whether you have an overbite, underbite, open bite, or crossbite. Additionally, they will let you know whether or not Invisalign or braces is more appropriate. Depending on what type of bite issue you have, one may be more appropriate than the other.
- Did your child suck their thumb for an extended period? Thumb sucking that lasts for too long can lead to poor tooth alignment which can be corrected with orthodontics.
- When adult teeth are coming in, dentists use x-rays to determine the trajectory of the teeth. Aside from making sure that everything is going smoothly, this can also identify potential issues that might be remedied with proactive orthodontic treatment. Installing braces at the right time can make it so that you don’t need additional orthodontic treatment later down the road.
- Crowded teeth are one problem, and the opposite is known as gapping. Having a space in your smile is nothing to be embarrassed about, as it happens to many people. However, some people feel self-conscious about it and gaps can cause food to accumulate between the teeth and lead to accelerated tooth decay. Invisalign or traditional braces can both be used to make it look like the gap was never there at all.
How Do Braces and Aligners Work?
Both Invisalign and traditional braces are so effective because of the processes that they use. Traditional braces and aligners will both slowly shift your teeth over a period of weeks, months, or even years. This is done by placing constant, gentle pressure on the teeth. Over time, this pressure will move your teeth into a new position.
The primary difference between the two is what mechanism is used to do the shifting. With traditional braces, brackets and wires will be used to shift your teeth into the new position. However, with Invisalign clear aligners, the aligner trays will be used in succession to shift your teeth into their final position. Both types of orthodontic treatment are performed under the supervision of a dentist or orthodontist.
Are There Downsides to Orthodontic Treatment?
The two primary reasons why people will delay orthodontic treatment are cost and potential discomfort. However, it’s important to realize that the benefits of orthodontic treatment vastly outweigh the potential downsides. Many different dental insurance plans offer some orthodontic coverage to lower your treatment cost. Additionally, the cost of having a misaligned jaw and experiencing pain or accelerated tooth decay is greater than the cost of having Invisalign or braces.
The other primary downside is discomfort. When working with an experienced dentist, they will go above and beyond to make sure that you are not uncomfortable as your teeth shift. For the most comfort possible, it’s a good idea to choose Invisalign. These clear aligner trays are fitted to your smile and exert gentle pressure over time without any wires or brackets that might make you feel less comfortable.