The reason why braces are needed can vary from patient to patient. There are approximately 3 million American teens that have braces and the number of adults who need them is rising too. It isn’t just a kid problem as many people see it. Your dentist is going to be the first person to mention an orthodontic treatment like braces. Yes, your dentist is typically not going to be the one who puts the braces on you. While every orthodontist is a dentist only 1 in 3 dentists is an orthodontist. Think of it as a specialty, just like with doctors, there is different training and long hours dedicated to work.
Reasons for Braces
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children should be seen for their first orthodontic constellation before the age of 8. While this seems early to consider braces it starts the process for early screening. This can even prevent that child from needing braces later on in the future. Assuming you still need braces, and you are older than 7, you can still consult an orthodontist to help correct your teeth as it is never too late.
Braces are used to move your teeth into the ideal position and align how your bite is. You will likely hear the term malocclusion and that describes the misalignment of teeth between the upper and lower dental arches. It uses the first molars as the reference point. There are three different types of misalignments defined by the Angles Classification Method. It was developed by Dr. Edward Angle and is a widely used method of classification. The method is as follows:
- Class I: This is considered the ideal relationship between the upper and lower teeth. Crowding or spacing may be present with a Class I bite.
- Class II: This is mostly known as an overbite. When the first molar is positioned further out than the lower molar on the bottom jaw, it is considered a Class II. There are two sunglasses here that describe the position of the upper front teeth but in both cases, the molar relationship is the same.
- Class III: This is what is known as an underbite. The lower molar is positioned more forward than the upper first molar. This means the lower teeth are more forward than the upper teeth causing the misalignment.
While the Angles Classification Method works there are other facts such as crowding that can misalign a bite. Crowding can be because the dental arch is too small for the adult teeth or the adult teeth are larger than normal. Crowding makes it difficult to reach each tooth while brushing or flossing which can lead to a variety of problems.
Taking care of your teeth is important. If you are wondering if you can make your bite better then reach out to John Redmond Orthodontics for a complimentary consultation to learn more about how an orthodontist can give you a great smile.