Orthodontics for a long time was thought of mostly as a cosmetic treatment: a thing of luxury, something not really needed for the care of teeth. Over the years, however, as a dental profession, we have found orthodontics to be an affordable and preventative treatment that has a very strong influence on our long-term health. Would you believe that over 65% of all people have a moderate to severe bite problem or malalignment of their teeth? It’s no wonder that so many people are seeking orthodontic care these days.
There are three general areas of your dental health that orthodontic care can influence profoundly:
If teeth are rotated and crooked it is much harder to brush and floss. This creates areas for food and plaque to hide. It’s not long before cavities begin to appear and destruction of gums and supporting tissues occur. Teeth that are straight are much easier to clean and are much more conducive to long-term health.
Sometimes the teeth look straight but the “peaks and valleys” of the teeth, or the upper and lower jaws, or both, don’t match up. This misalignment can create extreme wear on the teeth, breakdown of supporting tissues, and create difficulty in day-to-day chewing and function. The teeth may ultimately wear away or fracture prematurely and need substantial dental work to restore them back to health. In addition, the gums and bone around the teeth can strip away, particularly in the presence of food debris and plaque. A poor bite or jaw relationship can also cause stress and deterioration of the jaw joint or TMJ as well as cause muscular fatigue and headaches, which can lead to further, more complicated problems.
Many people would like to have a beautiful, pleasing smile. Your smile says a lot about you as a person. And certainly, straight, well cared for teeth can change a smile into an invaluable asset, one which makes you feel better about your appearance and yourself. Our smile is an important part of our expression, our emotions and our life. It really deserves the greatest care it can receive.