Sure, orthodontic treatment will result in a beautiful smile. But that's just one of the many benefits!
Research has shown that most people have some form of malocclusion – or misaligned teeth. In fact, few people are born with a "perfect bite."
Symptoms of malocclusion include headaches, soreness in the jaw, speech problems, tooth pain while chewing, and more. Malocclusion rarely corrects itself, and it's common for symptoms to worsen with age. Early intervention and treatment are recommended for children, but any age can benefit from orthodontics to correct bite issues and teeth alignment problems. It's never too early or too late to create a beautiful smile that allows you to chew without pain and speak properly.
Everyone has a unique bite, but most of us have one or more bite problems:
Crossbite – A mouth in crossbite has upper teeth that rest inside their opposing bottom teeth. This can happen in the front or back teeth, on one or both sides, and can cause severe jaw pain and headaches.
Open Bite – When the mouth is closed, sometimes there is a gap or lack of contact between the back teeth or the front teeth. Common causes are thumb sucking or tongue thrust.
Deep Bite – A deep bite happens when the top front teeth almost entirely cover the bottom front teeth when your mouth is closed.
Crowding – This is one of the most common reasons for orthodontic treatment. When your teeth don't have enough room to spread out, teeth grow in crooked and can even rotate or overlap.
Underbite – Sometimes, the lower jaw juts out farther than the top jaw causing pain and difficulty chewing.
Overbite – When the top jaw sticks out too far over the bottom jaw. This can be caused by a too-small lower jaw or a top jaw that is too large.
But orthodontic treatment can help prevent or fix a lifetime of dental issues and potential pain. When everything is in harmony, the likelihood of headaches, jaw pain, speech problems, and chipped and broken teeth caused by bite problems are reduced.
Another benefit of orthodontic treatment is committing to a stricter homecare routine. More frequent brushing and flossing create a habit that usually sticks with patients when the active phase is over. Straight teeth are also easier to keep clean because your toothbrush and floss can get to all the tooth surfaces.
Because they are easier to clean, they are also less likely to build up calculus, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
It's worth mentioning that one of the most positive benefits of orthodontics is the boost of self-confidence! Your reason for undergoing orthodontic care may be to fix a bite problem that is causing you pain, but beautiful, straight teeth are a nice side effect of treatment.