Braces are something of a rite of passage for many young people, as well as a great way for adults to achieve the smile they’ve always dreamt of. Here are some common alignment conditions to look for in your child’s mouth that could mean braces may be in their future.
Overcrowding occurs when there isn’t enough space in the mouth for adult teeth to grow in straight without overlapping. Braces can take care of this problem early by making sure your teeth shift and grow in correct alignment. Without braces, allowing teeth to crowd one another can make it very difficult or even impossible to properly clean your teeth, which can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay.
An underbite, or prognathism, occurs when the front upper teeth sit behind the front lower teeth, rather than the other way around. Depending on the severity, this can make it difficult to eat or bite. In addition to oral health problems, an underbite can also cause speech difficulty and an asymmetrical or imbalanced facial appearance.
A crossbite is when a tooth or teeth emerge closer to the cheek or tongue and does not align with the corresponding upper or lower tooth or teeth. If left untreated, a crossbite can cause improper jaw growth, speech problems, and increased gum recession. When the affected front teeth are worn and damaged to the point of loss, the crossbite and jaw growth may not allow the missing teeth to be replaced by dental implants later in life.
Overbites vary in severity and occur when the upper front teeth overextend forward compared to the lower front teeth. Those with untreated overbites might risk increased damage of the protruding front teeth, and further complications should the front teeth need to be restored.
The above conditions are just a few examples of alignment issues that are commonly resolved with braces, but each case is different and other tooth development issues could arise as the child grows. The length of time the braces are required depends on the severity of the dental problem being fixed, but the average length of time a person can expect to wear braces is between one and two years.
Whether you’re thinking about getting braces or already have them, it’s important to keep up with regular dental appointments to keep your pearly whites bright and healthy. At Tendercare Dental, our staff cares about providing your family the best dental care. If braces aren’t for you, but you’re still looking for a straighter smile check out our teeth straightening page to learn about other procedures.