Understanding braces and orthodontics

Some straight wisdom for the misaligned

More Q&A’s about braces so you can make the educated choice about getting your smile on track.  

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Each tilted tooth is crooked in its own unique way

Every mouth is different. That’s why it’s vital to work with a certified orthodontist. They take the time to really get to know your mouth, jaws and teeth, inside and out. That way, they can come up with a super thorough, totally personalized plan on how to help get your bite back on track. 

Cross bite

A cross bite is when one or more of your upper teeth lands behind your lower teeth when you bite. You can have a cross bite on the front or the side of your mouth.

Deep overbite

Overbite is the overlap between your upper and lower teeth. A little overbite is normal—most people’s lower teeth rest just behind their upper teeth, and that’s fine. When you have a deep overbite, your lower front teeth touch your upper gums or the roof of your mouth when you bite.   

Overjet

With an overjet, your upper teeth stick out away from your lower teeth. Even with this condition, you may still have a good bite. Your lower teeth can still meet with the bases of your upper teeth if you have an overjet, but your top teeth will still jut out at an angle. 

Jams, gaps and other spacing issues

Teeth can grow in too close together or a little too far apart. You can also develop gaps from having too few teeth, or an overcrowded smile from having too many.

 

Underbite

Underbite happens when your lower jaw grows too much or your upper jaw doesn’t grow enough. When you have an underbite, your lower teeth extend further than your upper teeth do. A mild underbite is easily corrected with braces and other external expanders. More severe cases need to be treated surgically. 

It’s so important to treat your underbite quickly. Left untreated, underbites can be painful and make chewing, swallowing, speaking, and even breathing difficult. On top of everything, they can cause facial deformities, too. 


More questions about braces? We’ve got more answers!

How braces work

Braces work by using wires to slowly pull your teeth into place of the course of several months. It’s that simple! They can fix an overjet, a gap or crooked teeth, easy. 
 
Braces might need a little help from some other devices. Expanders pull and chin straps restrict to reshape your jaw as well as your teeth.

What will happen if I need braces, but don’t get them?

Lots of not-so-pleasant things. Crooked, crowded teeth can get worse. And because tilted teeth are so hard to clean, you’re more at risk for tooth decay, gum disease and other health issues. On top of all that, you may experience chronic headaches, face or neck pain. Don’t wait to get braces if you need them!

Are adults able to get braces?

Yes! People of all ages can see great results with braces. However, it’s important to note that it’s a lot easier to shift teeth and change bone structures while you’re young because your growing body is much more pliable.

Some conditions, like underbites, need to be corrected early. That’s why it’s vital to schedule regular orthodontic checkups for your child after they turn 7. 

Life with your new braces

Wires, brackets, and colorful little rubber bands… what do they all add up to? Your brand-new smile, of course! Click below to learn more. 

What to expect with braces