Depending on your teeth and overall dental health, there are some aspects of your smile that are merely aesthetic with little impact on your overall health. For example, stained teeth don’t necessarily present a health risk. However, there are some seemingly visual aspects of your smile that actually can impact your dental health.
The alignment of your teeth is an example of that. You might have come to live with minor misalignment and crowding of your teeth because it doesn’t seem to be causing any issues overall. You might prefer to have perfectly straight teeth, but the dental work required doesn’t seem worth it to you.
The reality is that even minor misalignment can cause dental health issues down the road. When crowding or overlapping occurs in the teeth, these areas aren’t getting brushed properly, sometimes resulting in gum disease or tooth decay. Additionally, uneven distribution of your bite can result in jaw pain and trauma.
Thee medical term used to described misaligned teeth, crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites, etc., is malocclusion of the teeth. This simply means misalignment, but the potential health issues this can cause are serious. While most people with mild malocclusion won’t need any formal treatment, here’s how more server cases are handled:
- Braces to help improve the teeth alignment/position
- Extractions that address overcrowding
- Bonding and reshaping teeth as necessary
- Jaw surgery or wires/plates to improve jaw alignment
Not only does addressing alignment issues improve the aesthetic appeal of your smile (and your confidence), it also improves your ability to maintain the health of your teeth. One added benefit is that it improves the care your dentist is able to provide. Crowding and plaque deposits make it harder to see decay or cavities without the help of x-rays. Well-aligned teeth help your dentist spot potential issues quickly without the need for any testing.
Addressing misalignment early in life makes for better dental health and care in the future. This is why having a plan to address any misalignment should happen as soon as your dentist thinks it is right. For children, braces help to guide the growing mouth and teeth for a straight smile that prevents misalignment and crowding. However, every child is different and therefore the approach should be as well.
If you or your child have misaligned teeth or you would like to discuss it, make an appointment today.