8 Most Common Problems Braces Can Fix

Clear braces

Orthodontic treatment has been used for decades to help perfect and correct patients’ smiles. There are many types of braces available, including traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, and invisible aligners. With the vast array of treatments readily available, children, teens, and even adults can benefit from braces. With the help of your dental professional, you’ll have a treatment plan created just for you so you can benefit fully from what braces can do. Here are the most common problems that braces can fix:

1. Overcrowding and Spacing

It’s not uncommon to have overcrowded or unevenly spaced teeth. Many patients have a space between their two front teeth known as a diastema. While having a diastema is common in children, the issue can carry into adulthood for some patients. Apart from spaces and gaps, overcrowded and crooked teeth can easily be corrected with braces. Braces of any kind help to apply gentle yet effective pressure to the teeth, pushing them into a more aligned position. An orthodontist monitors your treatment throughout to make sure you’re on track or if adjustments need to be made.

2. Misaligned Jaw

A misaligned jaw is often due to an uneven bite. If your teeth are crooked or crowded, you may be experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw. Over time, this misalignment can cause issues with your temporal mandibular joint (TMJ), resulting in facial pain and other complications. Orthodontic treatment helps to straighten and align your teeth, putting your jaw into its correct position. Likewise, by correcting a misaligned jaw, this has a positive impact on your facial structure as well. In turn, your face may look more symmetrical and even.

3. Overbites and Underbites

Malocclusion problems, better known as overbites and underbites, can be corrected with braces because of the gentle pressure that the appliances place on the teeth and jaw. Depending on the severity of the malocclusion, certain orthodontic options may be more appropriate. Braces can successfully treat:

Overbites

Overbites involve a mild to a severe extension of the upper jaw in comparison to the lower. This can cause your chin to look smaller or more sunken-in than usual and can create problems with chewing foods.

Underbites

Similar to overbites, underbites involve the lower jaw being more forward than the upper jaw. This may cause the chin to look awkward or pushed forward and can make it difficult to bite and chew.

4. Open Bites

While not necessarily considered a malocclusion problem, open bites are generally caused by excessive pacifier use or thumb sucking. It results in a large space between the anterior upper and lower teeth. Most children will outgrow an open bite when their baby teeth fall out and they stop using a pacifier or sucking their thumb. However, permanent teeth can still be affected in some cases. Braces can also treat open bites with successful results.

5. Periodontal Problems

When teeth are severely misaligned, this can make it difficult for patients to brush their teeth properly. It might even be impossible for them to floss because teeth are too tight or are overlapping one another. This can cause problems with the gums, resulting in gingivitis and gum disease. Braces can help to put the teeth into a straighter and more aligned position, which can significantly help to keep the mouth healthy and clean. You’ll find it easier to brush and floss your teeth when they are straight and uniformly spaced rather than overlapping each other.

6. Unmatched Dental Midlines

The dental midline refers to the midsagittal line between the upper and lower jaw. When this midline is off, even by a few millimeters, it can have an impact on the way that your jaw sits and your face looks. Braces help to bring your teeth back into alignment, creating a more even dental midline to improve symmetry and intercuspation. Intercuspation refers to the process of the cusps of the teeth fitting together correctly, creating an even, comfortable and aesthetically-pleasing bite.

7. Issues with Chewing and Speech

Dental misalignments can affect the way that you speak and chew. Malocclusion problems, issues with overcrowding, and crooked teeth can easily have an impact on your ability to chew certain foods or speak clearly. In fact, it’s not uncommon to correct mild speech impediments with the help of braces. The majority of this correction comes from bringing the jaw into better alignment, which affects the way you chew and speak. Your upper and lower teeth come into contact more evenly, which can improve your bite and pronunciation.

8. Self-Esteem Issues Related to Misaligned Teeth

One of the most beneficial aspects of braces is that they can have an impact on a patient’s self-esteem. If you feel self-conscious about your smile and avoid smiling or laughing because of the way that your teeth look, braces can give you back your lost confidence and allow you to be more expressive. Correction of misalignment issues can have an impact on your face and the way that it looks, helping to improve your self-esteem.

With the help of braces, many of your orthodontic and dental problems can be solved. Braces are an ideal choice for children and teens with misalignment problems, as well as adults who have never had braces before or who might have had them in the past but failed to maintain their results. Your treatment plan is completely unique, which ensures your results are specific to you. With the help of an orthodontic consultation, you’ll be ready for braces and be on your way to an even, beautiful smile in no time.

About the Author

Dr. Scott Futch

Dr. Scott F. Futch, DDS

Dr. Scott Futch has been a clinical director for Absolute Dental since April 2017. Dr. Futch graduated from University of Michigan School of Dentistry and completed his training at the Dawson Academy; a postgraduate multi-disciplinary education clinical research facility dedicated to the advancement of dentistry. Dr. Futch has had over 25 years of experience as a skilled clinician, mentor and coach.

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