Not everyone needs orthodontic treatment. This may sound surprising coming from orthodontists – after all, wouldn’t we want everyone to get braces? But, while we want everyone to have a beautiful smile, we recognize that there are many situations where braces just aren’t required.
That begs the question: When are braces appropriate? We’ve found three main reasons that people come to us for treatment, namely, function, aesthetics, and self-confidence.
Braces to Improve Function
The teeth and jaw play an important part in several key functions in the mouth. A malocclusion – aka, a “bad bite” – can put a person at risk for a number of issues, including:
- Problems chewing properly
- Problems with speech production
- Jaw and joint conditions
Plus, a bad bite can lead to excessive wear of your teeth, which can lead to chips and cracks, and can make it harder to clean your teeth. The result: a higher risk of gum disease and tooth decay, possibly leading to infection and necessitate fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, or other interventions.
By improving the bite with braces, it’s possible to improve or restore function and make it easier to care for teeth and gums in the future.
Braces for Aesthetics
Misaligned teeth, overlapping teeth, and gaps in between teeth can all cause great embarrassment. Many patients come into our practice who are reluctant to show their teeth and cover their mouths when they laugh or smile because they dislike the way their teeth look. Braces can address all these issues and give our patients the straight, even, beautiful smile they’ve never had but always dreamed of. The best part is, for minor issues of crowding, spacing, or alignment, treatment is relatively quick, producing noticeable results in a short amount of time.
Braces Increase Self-Confidence
The truth is that in our culture, for better or worse, self-confidence is tied with self-image. When we like what we see looking back at us in the mirror, it gives us the confidence to step out into the world as ourselves. Conversely, feeling like we’re being judged on our teeth every time we open our mouths is a self-esteem killer. That’s why the biggest transformation that our patients go through is not about their teeth, but in the way they feel about themselves.
Braces to Change Your Life
Although we’ve discussed the three – function, aesthetics, and self-confidence – separately, the reality is that when a patient gets braces, it’s rarely about just one of these components. People who have poor function due to misalignment or a bad bite usually don’t have good aesthetics. People with good aesthetics only sometimes have ideal function. And practically everyone experiences a lift in self-confidence after getting braces, no matter what the initial reason was for seeking orthodontic treatment.
It’s not an overstatement to say that braces can be life changing. That’s why many orthodontists consider treatment an investment. It’s an investment in your well-being, your health, and your self-confidence. It’s an investment in your future!
If you’ve been considering braces for a while and you live in the New York area, take the first step and make an appointment to come see us.