The main reason most parents want their kids to have braces is for them to have a beautiful smile. But, there are two other very important reasons to consider straightening their teeth. These are:
1) If your teeth are crowded and ‘crooked,’ it will be very difficult to keep them clean, which in turn makes them more susceptible to gum disease.
But, in addition to your teeth being difficult to clean, crowding also leads to another problem…Let’s go back. Please see Causes of Recession- The Need for a Graft (#3 Orthodontics).
The basic message of this blog was that the roots of the teeth are anchored into the bone and for optimal ‘Periodontal health‘, it is best to have an even amount of bone between the roots.
(a) When your teeth are all crowded together, there is a thin and uneven amount of bone between the roots of the teeth. This thin bone becomes more susceptible to breaking down, especially if the individual has poor oral hygiene.
Of course this is a problem because the bone is what holds the roots of the teeth ‘in place.’
(b) However, if the teeth are aligned properly, there will be an even amount of bone between the roots. This uniformity of bone is less susceptible to ‘breaking down’ than an uneven amount of bone between the teeth.
2) When your teeth are properly aligned and your back teeth come together (or interdigitate) the way they were meant to, then your ‘bite’ is seen as being normal. This functional way of biting usually goes hand in hand with your TMJs ( the joints that connect the jaw bone to the skull ) being in their proper alignment and functioning in harmony.
When the TMJs are properly aligned, this leads to a lesser likelihood of facial pain or headaches…see TMD Treatment Options, #6- Orthodontics.
This is not an easy concept to understand, but for our purposes, all we need to know is that a proper bite usually means proper TMJ alignment, which translates into less problems
Treating Different Age Groups
Braces benefit both adolescents and ‘older’ adults (in the range of 25 and up). The different age groups bring different challenges to the table.
Braces and Adolescents
With adolescents, we want to take advantage of their growth spurts, as this is an ideal time to move the teeth around. On the other hand, with this age group, the oral hygiene and over-all compliance is not always at its best. Sometimes getting an adolescent to follow the desired protocol can be a little bit like pulling teeth.
Braces and Older Adults
With ‘older’ adults, tooth movement is slower because their growth has stopped. But, compliance is usually better with this age group. Their oral hygiene is usually much better and if they need to wear a headgear or elastics, they are much more apt to do so.
Braces have come a long way since I had them over 30 years ago. There are different colored elastics and even transparent braces! It’s a much more fun way for both adult and adolescents to attain a beautiful smile.
To see if braces are the right option for you, call Dr. F. Keshavarz Dentistry in Brampton, Ontario. We’ll answer all of your questions and provide you with all of your options. Simply dial (905) 791-3867 today to book a consultation. We’re located at 40 Finchgate Blvd., Suite 121, in the heart of Brampton, Ontario.