Understandably, the reasons for orthodontics and braces can vary from one individual to another. In Canada and the United States alone, around 3 million teens wear braces .
In addition, the number of adults starting orthodontic care are also rising at a consistent rate. Your dentist will be the first to give you proper advice if orthodontics and braces are the best treatment option for your case.
Who are likely candidates for braces?
Ideally, children should have their first orthodontic consultation no later that 7 years old. This is based on the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
While 7 years of age may seem too early to consider braces, the early pre-screening will give the orthodontist the chance to use preventative measures to correct possible situations that might lead to wearing braces in the future.
On the other hand, adults who might need orthodontic treatment should visit their dentist right away as it is never too late to have teeth corrected.
Initial consultation will often involve a visual evaluation of both the facial structure and the patient’s teeth. If more in-depth information is required, diagnostic records mights be taken.
Diagnostic tools can consist of X-rays, photographs of the patient’s teeth and face, and models of the patient’s teeth. These are all needed so the dentist can accurately assess and formulate the best treatment plan tailored for the patient
What are braces for?
In essence, braces are used to align the patient’s bite (occlusion) and move the teeth into the proper position. The misalignment of teeth between lower and upper dental arches is called malocclusion.
However, even if a patient can have the ideal bite, they can suffer from diverse degrees of spacing or crowding. Crowding causes teeth to rotate and overlap. In other instances, it can cause teeth to grow into the incorrect position. In extreme cases, the tooth can become trapped in the bone.
Crowding can also occur when the baby teeth is retained in the mouth way longer than usual. Similar scenarios can also force adult teeth to grow into an incorrect position. In addition, crowding can also make brushing and flossing the teeth difficult, possibly resulting to gingivitis or tooth decay.
What are other conditions orthodontics can correct?
An incorrect bite and misaligned teeth can affect more than just the smile’s appearance. Fortunately, orthodontics can also correct the following conditions:
- TMJ or jaw pain
- Speech issues
- Chewing and eating difficulties
- Clenching and grinding of the teeth
- Sleep apnea secondary to snoring and mouth breathing
- Tooth decay and gum disease
If you experience one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, consider it best to pay your dentist a visit right away so the real cause of the condition can be determined. For many people however, aesthetics will play a key role when deciding if braces is an option for them.
Given that it is the best treatment option, the results braces can provide can significantly improve the self-confidence of patients who have concerns about their facial shape or teeth.