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Just because you have a pretty smile doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy, explains the best orthodontist in Ripley WV

A Nice Looking Smile Isn’t Always a Healthy Smile

When people think about getting orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners, it’s often purely for cosmetic reasons. After all, if you know someone who has completed orthodontic treatment, the difference in their smile is what you notice. However, there are plenty of other benefits of getting orthodontic treatment beyond a nicer-looking smile. In fact, your smile could look straight but your teeth could still have issues that need correcting.

Crowding

One of the main culprits of crooked teeth and oral health problems is crowding. Put simply, crowding is when the teeth do not have enough space in the jaw to be positioned correctly. This lack of space results in crookedness as the teeth fight for space in the jaw.

Most often, crowding is apparent in the front teeth, where some teeth may protrude outward while others are rotated out of alignment. This is the cause of most cosmetic issues with people’s smiles, where the front teeth look crooked. However, this can also happen with the teeth that aren’t visible. While someone could have a smile that looks straight, crowding can cause the teeth further back in the mouth to trap food and make it harder to thoroughly clean your teeth. This increases your chances of tooth decay and cavities.

When you get orthodontic treatment with braces, all instances of crowding are corrected, whether they are visible or not, protecting you from future cases of tooth decay.

Bite Problems

Other problems that can occur with the teeth are malocclusions and other bite problems. Overbites and underbites are common problems with the jaw, making it difficult to bite down properly. People with these issues often learn how to smile “correctly” even though their jaws are crooked. However, this can take significant effort, whereas a healthy smile should feel relaxed. Malocclusions can result in difficulties with eating, speaking, and breathing, and can cause uneven tooth wear.

Braces and Invisalign can fix problems like underbites and overbites with the help of elastic bands. By attaching to small hooks, these bands pull your jaw into the correct position over time, helping to set you up for better oral health and daily comfort when you bite down.

Other times, some teeth may be positioned higher compared to other teeth, leading to uneven pressure on your teeth when you bite down. This can be the result of a tooth erupting too late or too early. When this happens, the teeth that are subject to excessive pressure can wear down, leading to possible infections. Without being addressed, this problem can even result in teeth needing to be surgically removed.

Invisalign aligners or braces can correct this problem as well by pulling the teeth to their correct positions. When treatment is complete, you’ll be able to bite down evenly without worrying about wearing down your teeth.

These problems and others can be present even if your smile looks relatively straight or even completely straight. To learn more about the health benefits of choosing orthodontic treatment, schedule your free consultation at Smith Orthodontics today!