Gabriela Margall

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Are Braces Purely Cosmetic?

Are Braces Purely Cosmetic
– While braces are not considered a cosmetic treatment, there’s no denying that they enhance the aesthetic appearance of your smile. Research shows that improved self-esteem and physical attractiveness are significant benefits of orthodontic treatment.

In short? The aesthetic benefits of braces go beyond merely vanity: straighter teeth can in fact tangibly improve your self-confidence and mental health. However, the physical benefits of braces are even more significant. Modern medicine has proven that crooked or over-crowded teeth don’t function properly.

What’s more, it’s harder to keep them clean – leading to a greater chance of cavities, gum disease and potential tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment to improve a bad bite and realign your jaw may also improve sleep disorders, teeth grinding, breathing and chewing difficulties – and even some speech problems.

Are braces only for cosmetic?

Braces, They are Not Just Cosmetic — Alexandria Smiles Parents sometimes wonder why their child who seems to have straight teeth needs braces. Braces are in fact not only for cosmetic reasons, but also help prevent future issues that could affect your child later in life.

  • Some of these issues include sleep apnea, night time grinding, TMJ, and decay.
  • So what are we looking for? How can braces benefit your child? One of the main things dental professionals look for is misalignment or crooked teeth.
  • This can be very noticeable in some patients and can sometimes just affect the upper or lower teeth.

With crooked teeth people often find it hard to brush and floss their teeth. As bacteria sits on the teeth without being properly removed, it can create a cavity. In patients whose teeth are straight it is much easier for them to angle their tooth brush and floss in between the teeth, thus helping prevent against decay.

Another reason for braces depends on the person’s bite. There are four different types of bites that can cause the need for braces. The first is cross-bite, in the first picture on the left you can see how the lower teeth come in front of the top teeth on the left side. In a normal bite your top teeth should always come over your lower teeth as shown on the right side of the first picture on the left.

With the help of braces we are able to shift the bite helping to relieve future TMJ issues. The second type of bite is open bite. This is often associated with people who were thumb suckers or kids who used a pacifier for an extended period of time. With the help of braces we are able to bring the top teeth down to help prevent future TMJ issues.

  • Lastly we have an underbite and overbite (overjet).
  • These are very similar in which either the top or lower jaw did not fully develop leaving the jaw out of place.
  • This can lead to serious TMJ issues or sleep apnea in the future.
  • Overall, as dental professionals we are able to diagnose all of these conditions at a young age and can easily fix them with braces, or other orthodontic appliances.

This will help to prevent future decay and discomfort. : Braces, They are Not Just Cosmetic — Alexandria Smiles

Can you get braces if your teeth are OK?

Posted on September 9, 2020 Are Braces Purely Cosmetic Because braces do so much more than focus on your front teeth! Welcome to the amazing world of orthodontics where we can improve your bite, fix that snaggletooth, and improve the alignment of crooked or gapped teeth. Sounds great, right? A common misconception with braces is that they are only needed to correct crooked teeth.

Why do so many people need braces?

People are more aware of the risks of misaligned teeth – Orthodontics deliver a lot of benefits for oral health. Poorly aligned bites can cause crowding and wearing down of teeth if left untreated over time. Having straight and correctly aligned teeth allows for better hygiene and reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

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What is the best age to get braces?

Best Age to Get Braces – The best age to get braces will depend on the child themselves. This is because everybody grows at different rates; some children will go through puberty quicker and earlier than others. However, a general rule of thumb is your kids should look at getting braces between the ages of 9 and 14.

What percent of people get braces?

Stanford University Press Blog Crooked teeth are a modern phenomenon and a telltale sign of an underlying epidemic. by SANDRA KAHN and PAUL R. EHRLICH A 1,000-year-old skull of a Philistine woman excavated in Israel reveals how pre-industrial people did not suffer from crooked teeth to the same extent we do today.

  • Photo by Jim Hollander/EPA.
  • Modern industrialized societies are plagued by crowded, ill-aligned teeth, a condition that the dental profession refers to as “malocclusion”—which translates literally to “bad bite.” Survey data from 1998 suggests that as much as a fifth of the U.S.
  • Population has significant malocclusion, over half of which require at least some degree of orthodontic intervention.

Braces, tooth extractions, and retainers are the bread and butter for all the dentists and orthodontists tasked with setting straight our dental deviations. Having braces as a child has become so common in the Western world that it can seem a rite of passage—today, an estimated 50 to 70 percent of U.S.

children will wear braces before adulthood. But what did humans do to fix their teeth before modern dentistry, before Novocain, gauze, and rubber spacers? As it turns out, our ancestors did not suffer from crooked teeth to the same extent that we do today. Our species’ fossil record reveals a telling story: the epidemic of crooked teeth developed in humans over time.

Evolutionary biologist, Daniel Lieberman, notes the pattern in his book, : The museum I work in has thousands of ancient skulls from all over the world. Most of the skulls from the last few hundred years are a dentist’s nightmare: they are filled with cavities and infections, the teeth are crowded into the jaw, and about one-quarter of them have impacted teeth.

The skulls of preindustrial farmers are also riddled with cavities and painful-looking abscesses, but less than 5 percent of them have impacted wisdom teeth. In contrast, most of the hunter-gatherers had nearly perfect dental health. Apparently, orthodontists and dentists were rarely necessary in the Stone Age.

Ample evidence abounds in support of Lieberman’s observations. A comparison of 146 medieval skulls from abandoned Norwegian graveyards with modern skulls indicated a trend toward bad bite in our more recent forebears. The skulls of people scored as being in “great” or “obvious” need of orthodontic treatment made up 36 percent of the medieval sample and 65 percent of the modern sample.

And evidence of malocclusion in still earlier human fossils is vanishingly rare. The jaws of hunter-gatherers nearly uniformly reveal roomy, perfect arches of well aligned teeth, with no impacted wisdom teeth—a movie star’s dream smile, 15,000 years before the movies! Our ancestors did not suffer from crooked teeth to the same extent that we do today.

So what’s happening to our mouths? Why do we today face an epidemic of crowded, unruly, crooked teeth? The answer, as it turns out, has been lying right under our noses the whole time: the problem is our jaws. A key precipitating factor for malocclusion relates to the size of our jaws.

For healthy development, jaws must be able to provide sufficient room for all of the thirty-two teeth that grow in the mouth. Over time, our teeth have grown crooked because our jaws have grown smaller. Why? The epidemic’s roots lie in cultural shifts in important daily actions we seldom think about; things like chewing, breathing, or the position of our jaws at rest, and these changes have in turn been brought about by much bigger sociohistorical developments—namely, industrialization.

Our upper jaw, which is technically known as our maxilla, seems as if it is just the base of our skull, but it is actually formed by two bones, one on each side, fused together. Our lower jaw, technically the mandible, is likewise made by the fusion of two bones.

  • If the jaws develop correctly they have ample room for all of the teeth, and the teeth fit together well.
  • Both upper and lower jaws can move and change in the process of development.
  • But that process has been gradually altered ever since our ancestors began to use tools, cook, cease their mobile hunting-gathering lives and settled down to practice agriculture some 10,000 years ago.
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Anthropologists have reported that the size of the human mouth has long been shrinking. Because human beings have been using stone tools for at least 3.3 million ears, that may represent the time during which the shrinkage has occurred. Stone tools permitted a greater shift to a carnivorous diet because the ability to cut meat into small pieces reduced the amount of chewing required to extract nourishment.

Less chewing reduced the need for large, powerful jaws. The advent of agriculture accelerated this trend. As anthropologist Clark Larsen noted, “There has been a dramatic reduction in the size of the face and jaws wherever humans have made the transition from foraging to farming.” The superficial result, as we have seen, is malocclusion.

presents the biological, dietary, and cultural changes that have driven us toward a major, modern health challenge. At its root, the problem we face is that we have entered a space age world with Stone Age genes—genes that evolved to produce jaws adapted to a hunter-gatherer diet.

  1. Today’s jaws epidemic is concealed behind the commonplace.
  2. Its most obvious symptoms are oral and facial: crooked teeth (and the accompanying very common use of braces), receding jaws, a smile that shows lots of gums, mouth breathing, and interrupted breathing during sleep.
  3. A bother, but hardly an “epidemic”—at least until one recognizes the relationship between malocclusion and a veritable host of downstream health consequences.

If the jaws fail to develop properly, the receding lower jaw (the mandible) can put stress on the airway. The problems associated with modern jaw-face-airway development are only now beginning to be uncovered, largely through the work of a series of dedicated scientists and practitioners who have observed dramatic changes in facial structure that correlate with higher incidence of chronic diseases.

  1. Reducing the size of the airway can, for instance, eventually lead to breathing problems, such as sleep apnea, which itself has become a significant factor in public health.
  2. Some 20 percent of American adults are afflicted, and about 3 percent have a sufficiently serious case to cause daytime sleepiness.

But sleepiness is the least of it: As many as half of all cardiac patients suffer from the disease. Sleep apnea also appears to generate mental problems, including lowered IQ, shortened attention span, and difficulties with memory. That the diseases just noted are related to modern civilization is strongly indicated by the near absence of their symptoms in the evolutionary and historical records.

  • Our hunter-gatherer ancestors had spacious jaws, with a continuous smoothly curved arch of teeth in each jaw, including third molars (“wisdom teeth”) at the back ends of the arches.
  • Today, the failure of these last molars to erupt—for our wisdom teeth to emerge healthfully from the gum—has become an all too common phenomenon that often leads to dental extraction and the attendant burdens of pain, swelling, bruising, infection, and general discomfort.

But with proper attention to diet, eating habits, breathing patterns, and overall oral posture (how we hold our jaws together at rest), many aspects of this epidemic, like molar impaction, could be ameliorated or avoided entirely. Jaws could return to their hunter-gatherer patterns of growth.

The bottom line is that our health and happiness (and that of our children) may be at risk due to habits which most of us never give a second thought. But how we eat can be just as important as what we eat; how we breathe can be just as important as what’s in the air we breathe; how we sleep can be just as important as how long we sleep.

These are all key aspects of the jaws epidemic and part-and-parcel of overall oral-facial health. It is often said that the face is the window to the soul, but it is also a window on the health status of the person behind the face. Gummy smiles, crooked teeth, agape mouths are all visible signals that belie potentially much more serious underlying health problems.

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To address these problems our focus has to be on the healthy development of our jaws. This post has been adapted from by Sandra Kahn and Paul R. Ehrlich. Dr. Sandra Kahn, D.D.S., M.S.D., has twenty-five years of clinical experience in orthodontics and is part of craniofacial anomalies teams at the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University.

She practices pediatric sleep apnea prevention and whole-body treatment, lectures internationally, and is co-author of, Paul R. Ehrlich is the Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus and President of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University.

Is it OK to smile with braces?

Don’t Keep Your Mouth Closed While Smiling – Often, people think that wearing braces makes them look weird or childish, so they choose not to show off their smile. However, a closed grin makes your lips pursed, creating forced or uncomfortable facial expressions.

Can braces damage your teeth if you dont need them?

Poor Eating Habits – Just like when you don’t have braces, sugar and acid will damage your teeth. Sugars promote bacteria that eat away at your teeth’s enamel, and acid can erode your enamel. Certain foods that you consume stick to your braces and may remain there for quite some time.

Should I get braces at 20?

– The American Academy of Orthodontics recommends that all children have an appointment with an orthodontist no later than age 7. The logic behind this recommendation is that when a need for braces is identified, early treatment can improve outcomes. Even children with no visible crowding or slant to their teeth can benefit from a check-in with an orthodontist.

  1. The best age for getting braces varies from person to person.
  2. Most of the time, treatment with braces begins between the ages of 9 and 14, once children start to get their permanent teeth.
  3. But for some people, treatment with braces as a child is just not possible.
  4. Whether because of expense, inconvenience, or lack of diagnosis, many people have to put off orthodontic treatment until their adult years.

Technically, you’re never too old for braces. However, that doesn’t mean you should continue to put off treatment. Whenever you’re ready to pursue treatment for crowded or crooked teeth, you can schedule an appointment. You usually don’t need a referral from a dentist to make an appointment with an orthodontist.

What are braces designed to?

What Are Braces? are dental tools that help correct problems with your teeth, like crowding, crooked teeth, or teeth that are out of alignment. Many people get braces when they’re teenagers, but adults get them too. As you wear them, braces slowly straighten and align your teeth so you have a normal bite.

Some people get braces to adjust their smile. If you have crooked teeth and/or a misaligned bite (an underbite or overbite), there are a variety of treatments that can help straighten teeth, including braces and retainers, custom-made, removable or fixed tools that cover the outside of your teeth and help keep them in position.

Many general dentists do basic alignment and treat other tooth problems, but orthodontists specialize in correcting issues with your teeth. The dentist or orthodontist you choose will ask questions about your health, do a clinical exam, take a digital scan of your teeth, take photos of your face and teeth, and order X-rays of the mouth and head.