Why do you need orthodontics?

Orthodontics treats misshapen or badly aligned teeth in both adults and children. This is its primary aim. It improves the function of the teeth and jaws which has a direct impact upon your health and well being.

We tend to take our teeth for granted: we assume that they will perform in the way they are meant to, i.e. enable us to bite and chew, as well as enhancing our facial appearance. Ask yourself this: why wouldn't you want a set of perfectly aligned teeth?

The problem with misaligned teeth

But the sad fact remains that many people have crooked teeth or teeth which are so far out of position that it affects their ability to eat and causes other health problems as well. These people are self-conscious about their teeth and avoid opening their mouth or smiling whenever possible.

Having the odd crooked 'tombstone' tooth may not seem like anything to worry about but several of these are a problem which is resulting in more and more people seeking treatment.

Or why suffer with a jaw problem such as temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ syndrome) or a badly aligned jaw which causes you pain and discomfort? This and other occlusal conditions can be successfully treated with orthodontics.

Reasons for orthodontic treatment

There are various reasons for having orthodontic treatment which include:

  • Crooked teeth caused by an accident or injury
  • Protruding teeth - often caused by thumb sucking or chewing a comfort blanket.
  • Thrusting the tongue against the teeth which forces them out of position.
  • Malocclusion
  • Misaligned jaw
  • Overcrowding - too many teeth in the mouth
  • Impacted teeth (teeth which have erupted in the wrong place).
  • Asymmetrical teeth - the upper and lower sets of teeth do not match.
  • Overbite - the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth
  • Underbite – the upper teeth slip inside the lower teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Cleft palate – affects children only

Then there are genetic reasons, such as inheriting a poorly aligned set of teeth. If your parents have crooked or a misaligned tooth then there is a high chance you will have the same.

There are situations where someone develops badly aligned teeth for no obvious reason. But in most cases there is reason such as thumb sucking or an injury incurred as a result of a fall.

If misaligned teet

h are left untreated then the chances are that they will persist into adulthood which can have a dramatic effect on your facial appearance. A severe orthodontic problem such as a badly aligned jaw affects the bone structure of the face and its overall appearance.

Advances in orthodontic treatment mean that you don't have to put up with crooked or misaligned teeth. There are many advantages to having orthodontic treatment which are discussed in our benefits of orthodontics section.