Reasons for Treatment
There are many reasons a person may need orthodontic treatment. Although having a more beautiful smile is always one outcome, there are many other extremely important reasons to get braces. Correct tooth alignment is critical to healthy teeth, and good oral health is critical to our overall health. Good oral health helps to prevent many diseases and allows us to enjoy a healthy diet and feel good about ourselves when we smile.
Some orthodontic conditions requiring braces include:
When diagnosed at a young age, expanders or limited braces can create space for developing teeth and prevent impaction of permanent teeth and the need for extraction of adult teeth in the future.
A large overbite can be caused by protruding upper incisors which unless fixed, can be at an increased risk for trauma. A large overbite can also be caused by a recessive lower chin and jaw and early treatment with appliances such as the MARA or Herbst can help modify the lower jaw growth and create a better bite and profile.
An underbite (when the bottom teeth are in front of the top teeth) occurs when the top and bottom jaws are not growing evenly. Without correction at an early age to equalize the size of the jaws, permanent teeth extractions or even jaw surgery may be needed in the future.
Finger or Tongue Habits
Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting can permanently deform the bones of the upper jaw, unless the habit is stopped by age 3. In school age children, several different appliances can be used to aid in breaking this habit.
An open bite (when the front teeth don’t meet) can be caused by finger habits, tongue thrusts, or improper jaw growth. Correcting open bites at an early age will prevent excessive wear on the back teeth.
A narrow upper jaw (palate) can cause a crossbite which results in asymmetric jaw growth. Palate expansion at a young age widens the upper jaw which corrects the bite, creates space for erupting teeth and can even help reduce mouth breathing and snoring by increasing airway space.