Medical Need vs. Cosmetic Appeal: Why Should You Get Braces?
Fact: You can have what society deems a “beautiful” smile and still need braces.
The look of your teeth doesn’t always determine orthodontic health. Just as a straight smile can need braces, a slightly crooked smile might be perfectly healthy.
Here’s how we determine if braces are medically necessary or a cosmetic fix.
A Healthy Bite
The ultimate goal of good orthodontic treatment is to achieve a healthy bite. Misaligned teeth can interfere with proper chewing, make keeping teeth clean more difficult and strain your teeth, jaws and muscles. Crooked teeth are also more likely to break while chewing or biting.
Overcrowding and misalignment are the two biggest offenders, but the reason behind each case is specific to a person’s anatomy. Orthodontists spend many years in training so that we can identify the cause of these dental problems and determine a personal resolution for each patient.
For some patients, overcrowding means their teeth are tightly packed together, making it difficult to clean between each tooth. This is a hygiene issue that can result in increased cavities.
Others suffer from pain or difficulty chewing because of their misalignment. These problems are obviously more than a cosmetic issue.
A Matter of Looks
Some patients may have teeth that are not perfectly straight but do not cause health problems. If they’re happy with their smile, there’s no need for braces.
But if they’re not happy with their smile there are many benefits to cosmetic braces, too. A confident smile can be the foundation for success in all avenues of life, from school to work to relationships.
It’s not uncommon for adults to seek orthodontic care — in fact, about 20% of our patients are adults — and often it’s because they are looking to correct a cosmetic issue.
Get a Consultation
A board-certified orthodontist can help you get the healthy smile you deserve. If you’re in the Brookings or Madison area, come see us for a free consultation!