Braces, They are Not Just Cosmetic
Parents sometimes wonder why their child who seems to have straight teeth needs braces. Braces are in fact not only for cosmetic reasons, but also help prevent future issues that could affect your child later in life. Some of these issues include sleep apnea, night time grinding, TMJ, and decay. So what are we looking for? How can braces benefit your child?
One of the main things dental professionals look for is misalignment or crooked teeth. This can be very noticeable in some patients and can sometimes just affect the upper or lower teeth. With crooked teeth people often find it hard to brush and floss their teeth. As bacteria sits on the teeth without being properly removed, it can create a cavity. In patients whose teeth are straight it is much easier for them to angle their tooth brush and floss in between the teeth, thus helping prevent against decay.
Another reason for braces depends on the person’s bite. There are four different types of bites that can cause the need for braces. The first is cross-bite, in the first picture on the left you can see how the lower teeth come in front of the top teeth on the left side. In a normal bite your top teeth should always come over your lower teeth as shown on the right side of the first picture on the left. With the help of braces we are able to shift the bite helping to relieve future TMJ issues.
The second type of bite is open bite. This is often associated with people who were thumb suckers or kids who used a pacifier for an extended period of time. With the help of braces we are able to bring the top teeth down to help prevent future TMJ issues.
Lastly we have an underbite and overbite (overjet). These are very similar in which either the top or lower jaw did not fully develop leaving the jaw out of place. This can lead to serious TMJ issues or sleep apnea in the future.
Overall, as dental professionals we are able to diagnose all of these conditions at a young age and can easily fix them with braces, or other orthodontic appliances. This will help to prevent future decay and discomfort.