If you have gapped, crooked, crowded, or otherwise irregular teeth, you may find yourself pondering the question of braces. While braces can do a remarkable job of straightening out your smile, you must still give serious thought as to whether they're really for you. Here are four questions that can help you make the right choice in your discussions with your orthodontist.
1. Does the Quality of Your Smile Affect Your Quality of Life?
The first question you must consider is how the state of your teeth impacts your everyday quality of life. Did you know, for instance, that research study participants were more likely to associate straight teeth with wealth, romantic fulfillment, and even intelligence? These perceptions can affect how others interact with you, both personally and professionally. If you hesitate to smile because of your irregular teeth, you could be seen as standoffish, depressed, or distracted. Straightening your teeth just might straighten out a number of other obstacles in your quest for happiness.
2. Are Those Irregular Teeth Causing Functional or Health Problems?
Sometimes correcting your dental alignment involves more than just cosmetic improvement. Misalignment teeth can cause some serious functional problems such as incomplete chewing (which in turn can lead to digestive upsets and malabsorption of nutrients). Teeth that grind against each other unnaturally may suffer from premature wear and damage. Strain on the temporomandibular joints can lead to chronic jaw pain and stiffness. Crooked teeth may also prove hard to clean properly. This issue can make you vulnerable to gum disease, cavities, and abscesses. Braces may be able to relieve you of these problems.
3. Would Another Cosmetic Technique Be Faster or Easier?
Of course, there's nothing wrong with choosing braces purely to improve your looks. It's important to bear in mind, however, that you might have other options — options that can correct your smile more quickly and easily than braces can. For example, if you want to close a gap between two front teeth, you don't necessarily need braces to accomplish that task; bonding can remove that conspicuous empty space in a single dental session. If a few of your teeth are hopelessly and painfully crowded together, a strategic extraction of one of the teeth (with or without the addition of a properly-fitted false tooth) can resolve the problem. On the other hand, if you need "whole mouth help," braces are probably the way to go.
4. Should You Choose Traditional Braces Instead of Aligner Trays?
Technically, clear or "invisible" aligner trays aren't quite the same thing as braces. Instead of using metal brackets affixed to the teeth, removable aligner trays are simply molded to fit the alignment of your teeth precisely. Every couple of weeks, your orthodontist will swap the current pair of trays out for a slightly different pair, gently shifting your teeth over time. Many people like the fact that aligners are barely noticeable when talking or smiling. The fact that they're removable also makes dental hygiene easier to maintain. But traditional braces may prove more effective for certain kinds of alignment problems. Ask your orthodontist which option will yield more satisfying long-term results.
You have the power to remake your smile into the look you want, but don't rush into the process. Take your time and give the issue careful thought so that you can choose the right smile-correcting technique for your needs and preferences! Contact a clinic like Bernuy Orthodontist Specialist for more information.