A lot of people think that the only reason to get braces is to straighten out teeth that might be crooked. The truth is that braces are also quite useful for things like realigning teeth. They can be used to fix a person’s bite. You can even use braces to correct problems that a person might be experiencing with his jaw. There are lots of different reasons to get braces.
Crowded Teeth: Sometimes a person’s mouth is too small to hold all of the teeth that he was born with—at least not in a way that is healthy or correct. Usually this person has a dental arch that is too small and that forces the teeth to move toward each other until the only place left to go is either up or down. When a person has crowded teeth, the teeth might get impacted. They will also usually be thin. Both of these things can have an adverse effect on the person’s bite and, because why sugar coat things—his appearance. Typically the best way to correct the problem of crowded teeth is to remove the “extra” teeth (aka the teeth that don’t fit) and then to realign the teeth that are left with braces. This way all of the teeth will be straight and in the right places.
Overbite: Sometimes a person has an overbite. This is where the teeth along the upper arch extend out over the bottom teeth. This happens naturally, but sometimes—with an overbite—the gap between the lower teeth and the upper teeth is too large. When the person bites down there is a noticeable gap between the teeth. This might not sound like that big a deal but it can cause a bunch of problems for a person. It can cause injuries to the inside of the lips and to the person’s gum line. It can also cause the lips to become misshapen—it can force the mouth into a permanent puckered position. There are some people who suffer from overbites so bad that they aren’t able to completely close their mouths. This is embarrassing, sure, but it can also become quite painful and that is where braces can help.
Underbite: Other people will have what is called an underbite (though it is extremely rare). This is where the teeth along the lower arch extend out and in front of the teeth along the upper arch. Usually this is because the person’s lower jaw is longer than the person’s upper jaw. It has a sort of…bulldog like effect on the person’s appearance.
Crossbite: When a person has a crossbite, some of the teeth along the upper ridge bite down inside of the lower teeth. Other teeth line up perfectly fine. A crossbite can cause problems with chewing. The best way to correct this problem is with braces.
Open Bite: People who have an open bites usually have incisors that don’t touch. This means that the responsibility for a person’s ability to chew food falls to the back teeth. People who have open bites can sometimes, accidentally, rub his teeth together.
Space Problems: Perhaps a person has teeth that are smaller than average. Sometimes a person will lose teeth that are important. Sometimes those important teeth simply don’t grow in. When these sorts of things happen they can cause the teeth to crowd in, to spread out or to bunch up unnaturally. The space between the teeth is usually too big and this can cause any number of problems including the ability to bite down and chew food well.
All of these common issues can be fixed by wearing braces for a while. Sometimes you might need some other type of orthodontic help (like a permanent retainer, headgear, or something else). If any of these problems sound like what you are going through, work with your dentist to figure out if you need to see an orthodontist and get some braces to help you put things where they need to go.