Braces: Beyond looking good
Most of our patients who come to us for teeth straightening want to do so for aesthetic purpose. Many of them are adults who have had crowded or misaligned teeth since their teens, but have put off seeking braces mainly due to financial constraints. Now that they are better financially and are better aware of the treatment options, they tell us that they want to improve their smile and regain self-esteem lost over the years. We encourage them to pursue their dreams, and advise them accordingly whether traditional braces or Invisaligns will suit them best.
Traditional braces are still popular today, being a reliable tried-and-tested method at a relatively cheaper cost. Elastic bands may be attached to the brackets of the braces to apply additional pressure in adjusting the position or space between the teeth. These bands need regular replacement when they lose their elasticity, which can be inconvenient and also intrusive when you eat and drink.
Damon braces are fitted the same way just like traditional braces. However, instead of using elastic bands like traditional braces do, Damon braces are self-litigating. Damon braces uses a sliding mechanism to attach the special memory wires to the brackets so that the brackets move the teeth on their own. Damon braces are highly recommended over traditional braces nowadays because Damon braces are more comfortable and less painful without the use of elastic bands, easier to clean, require less visits to the orthodontists for tightening and the braces are clear and therefore less visible.
Invisalign are clear and removable teeth aligners that are favoured by many who don’t fancy the look and maintenance required of traditional and Damon braces. Invisaligns are great for those who don’t want prominent-looking braces, however they are only effective for mild cases of teeth misalignment. Traditional or Damon braces are still the best solutions for severe cases of overbite and underbite.
Why are braces important for dental health?
Braces serve more purpose than just improving your smile and confidence. There are instances when we suggest teeth straightening to patients whom we feel would benefit from it. Most of these patients were already be considering braces before we brought it up. There were also a few who were a little surprise, as they thought that their teeth were just mildly misaligned and didn’t really affect their looks. It is then when our dentists enlighten the patient that teeth straightening is not just for looks.
There are many consequences of having crowded or misaligned teeth:
Poorer oral hygiene
Crowded and overlapping teeth makes cleaning more difficult. There are areas that the toothbrush will miss, and flossing is also challenging due to the tightly-arranged teeth. Most often, patients stopped flossing altogether when it becomes increasingly difficult to do.
With dirty teeth comes gum diseases. Bacteria builds up on plaque that forms between and on teeth. If you notice that your gums are red, swollen or bleed while brushing, you have early symptoms of a gum disease. If the issue is untreated, the gum can recede, leaving more of the teeth to be exposed (and hence, look longer) which will definitely affect how your teeth look.
When oral hygiene is compromised, bad breath emerges as a result of the bacteria thriving on all the food bits lodged between the teeth. Gargling with mouthwash may help but only to mask the smell without actually addressing the issue.
It is normal to have a slight overbite, where the upper teeth extends slightly over the lower teeth. When teeth are not aligned, they may rub against each other, causing deterioration of the enamel that protects the teeth. Once worn or eroded, the tooth will be sensitive as the protective layer is compromised.
Higher risk of breakage
Due to their structure, protruding lower or upper teeth are more likely to break or chip as they take the most impact in an accident.
As you would have grown up with misaligned teeth, you may not realise what you have been missing out – the ease and joy of each perfect bite – upon the completion of your orthodontics treatment.
If you find it difficult to access all your teeth by brush or floss, or find that you need to take several bites to break a piece of meat because your upper and lower teeth don’t meet, do pay us a visit. We can advise you how we can straighten your teeth towards better oral health, confidence and the joy of eating.