When people think about orthodontics, two types of images spring to mind: the first is the so-called “before” picture of crooked teeth covered by metallic wires and brackets; the other one depicts a beautiful set of straightened teeth, alternatively known as the “after” image.
Yes, the end goal of orthodontics is to give you straight and beautiful teeth, but often that gets misconstrued as the only benefit of the teeth straightening procedure.
In fact, the clinical objective of orthodontic treatment is to correct what is known as a malocclusion or “bad bite”.
The dental braces or aligners that are placed over a patient’s teeth are intended to gradually move your teeth to their proper position so that they line up perfectly within the jaw itself, and sit nicely in relation to the opposing set of teeth.
Done correctly, the orthodontic procedure not only helps to improve your bite but also enhances the appearance of your smile in a symmetrical relationship to your overall facial features.
But the benefits do not end there. It’s not all about beauty.
What happens if your teeth are misaligned?
To understand what the other benefits are, you must first understand the problems associated with misaligned teeth.
When your teeth do not line up properly or are not sitting in their optimal position, you may end up with the following:
- Increased risk of cracked or chipped tooth
- Increased likelihood of bacterial infections. Some forms of misaligned teeth such as overlapping or unevenly spaced teeth, can cause pockets of space that are difficult to clean by normal brushing and flossing. The crevices may even trap food particles and promote bacterial growth.
- Speech impediment ranging from difficulty in pronouncing certain words to an outright lisp.
- A bad bite can interfere with your regular chewing and biting functions
- Increased risk of gum diseases, tooth decays or even tooth bone issues such as temporomandibular disorders (TMJ/ TMD).
What can orthodontics help you to achieve?
Orthodontics involves a simple but technologically advanced system of moving your teeth to their desired position through the precisely calibrated exertion of constant, minute forces.
The orthodontic treatment provides a host of both direct and indirect benefits:
- Improve appearance of smile in relation to overall facial aesthetics
- Significantly improve teeth’s pre-conditions for advanced dental procedures such as crown and bridges and dental implants
- Correct bad bites or malocclusions
- Lower the risk of tooth damage by external impact
- Space out teeth that are closely packed together known as dental crowding
- Close excessive dental gaps or unevenly spaced teeth
- Align dental arches
- Accommodate un-erupted, impacted and displaced teeth
- Prevents drifting of teeth, especially for senior patients suffering from gum diseases.