Is Straightening Your Teeth Purely a Cosmetic Decision?
The AAO Consumer Awareness Campaign (CAP) “Straight Talk” series concludes with a video featuring a patient on the day of the removal of their braces, titled “The Best Day Ever.” The video features Dr. Jacquee Schiek, an AAO orthodontist, who reminds the patient, Tim, that the process of moving his teeth was a complex biological one, and that his initial examination played a crucial role in developing the best treatment plan for him. While Tim’s smile looks amazing, Dr. Schiek emphasizes the importance of the planning and effort that went into achieving it.
It’s a common misconception that teeth straightening is purely a cosmetic procedure. It’s not. Braces serve several purposes beyond just improving the appearance of teeth. Braces are a common orthodontic treatment used to correct various dental issues and achieve a healthier bite. Here are some reasons why braces are not just cosmetic:
Alignment of teeth: Braces are commonly used to straighten misaligned or crooked teeth. Proper alignment enhances oral function, makes it easier to clean teeth, and improves overall oral health.
Bite correction: Braces can correct bite issues such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite. These problems can cause difficulty in chewing, speech issues, and excessive wear on the teeth. By aligning the teeth and jaws properly, braces help to improve the bite and prevent future dental problems.
Jaw alignment: Braces can also address misalignment or discrepancies between the upper and lower jaws. This is particularly important for individuals with skeletal malocclusions or jaw growth abnormalities. By guiding the growth of the jaws, braces can help achieve proper alignment and balance between the upper and lower teeth.
Speech improvement: Misaligned teeth or jaw problems can affect speech clarity. Braces can help correct these issues and improve speech patterns, leading to clearer and more confident communication.
Preventive care: Orthodontic treatment with braces can prevent future dental problems. Crowded or crooked teeth are harder to clean effectively, increasing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. By straightening the teeth, braces make oral hygiene maintenance easier and reduce the likelihood of dental complications.
While braces do have cosmetic benefits, their primary purpose is to address functional and oral health concerns. It’s important to consult with an AAO orthodontist to determine the specific orthodontic needs and potential benefits of braces for an individual’s unique situation. If you’re thinking about orthodontic treatment, consult a specialist: an orthodontist. Find an AAO orthodontist near you: https://aaoinfo.org/locator/.