The obvious positive result of orthodontic treatment is cosmetic. With straight teeth, you can look anyone in the eye and greet them with a warm smile. But, while looks are important to confidence, they’re not the only reason dentists recommend orthodontics.
Even more important is health. Crooked teeth can cause all manner of dental problems – from chronic pain and tooth loss to incorrect chewing and sleep apnoea. So, when should you consider orthodontic treatment?
When confidence is at an all-time low
Many people seek orthodontic help when their appearance is affecting their self-esteem. All of us have our quirks – that’s part of what makes each of us unique. However, severely misaligned teeth are not just a ‘quirk’. They can cause serious, debilitating self-consciousness. Some people become so affected that they refuse to smile or laugh. Choosing orthodontic correction for cosmetic reasons isn’t merely vanity – it can be a way of boosting confidence to normal, functional levels.
When dental health is an issue
Other people start looking into orthodontics when they’re tired of having poor dental health. One of the technical terms for misaligned teeth is ‘malocclusion’, which refers to teeth that aren’t positioned correctly when one’s jaw is closed. Malocclusion often doesn’t allow you to clean your teeth properly. No matter how much brushing or flossing you do, you can never reach every crack or crevice. So food stays where it shouldn’t for long periods, causing decay, which, in turn, leads to fillings and, sometimes, root therapy.
Furthermore, some malocclusions can cause teeth to crack or fracture. Fractures can be dangerous, leading to exposure of dentin and/or pulp tissue. In worse cases, they may cause bleeding and/or loose teeth. Whatever the consequences, fractures require urgent treatment, which may include root canal treatment, crowning and/or tooth removal.
When the pain gets too much or sleep doesn’t come
Even when misaligned teeth don’t have a detrimental impact on dental health, they can cause ongoing pain. Some people clench their teeth – when concentrating or when asleep – putting major pressure on their jawbone. This often leads to headaches and irritability.
Other people find that their sleep patterns are continually interrupted. In severe cases, misaligned teeth can cause sleep apnoea, which can lead to fatigue, poor concentration and a higher risk of accidents.
If you’re wondering if orthodontic treatment is right for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re happy to answer your questions at a time that’s convenient for you.