Fact Sheet: TEETH STRAIGHTENING
Getting your teeth straightened isn’t simply about getting some braces fitted so you can have a more beautiful smile. Granted a perfectly-aligned set of teeth can deliver a winning shot of self-esteem, but there’s more on offer, from what’s officially known as orthodontics, than a dazzling set of pearly whites.
Some other good reasons to straighten your teeth
If you have crooked teeth there are a number of benefits to getting your teeth straightened.
It is easier to keep your teeth and gums clean
You’ll have less wear and tear on your teeth from clenching and grinding
You’ve got less chance of damaging your gums
There’s less stress on the jaw joint from bad biting patterns
While there is no guarantee that teeth straightening will conclusively fix your dental problems, it can make a significant difference to problems caused by ‘malocclusion’, more commonly referred to as misaligned teeth.
Determining if you need orthodontic work
It’s easy to look in the mirror at less-than-perfect teeth and conclude you could benefit from some teeth straightening. But with many conditions treatable by non-orthodontic means, you’re best checking with your dentist who can perform a full diagnostic assessment and determine if you’ll benefit from teeth straightening.
It’s quite possible your dentist will be trained to provide these services, but they may also decide you could benefit from a referral to a specialist orthodontist. If you undergo treatment by an orthodontist, you’ll also need to keep seeing your dentist for regular check-ups.
Braces are the first thing many people think of when they consider getting their teeth straightened. But braces have come a long way with a choice now available of classic metal and clear styles, braces that adhere to the inner surface of the teeth, colourful options and even “invisible” braces.
And apart from needing to spend extra time brushing and flossing, and visiting your dentist and orthodontist, wearing braces won’t significantly affect your lifestyle.
The best time to have orthodontic treatment
The popular image of teeth straightening begins and ends with pimply teens wearing braces. But the truth is, anyone can benefit from orthodontic treatment, including adults.
Treatment usually starts for most people however from about the age of 12 when the baby teeth of childhood are replaced by a full set of adult, or permanent teeth. If you think your child’s teeth need treatment, your dentist will be able to tell if the procedures are needed and when they should start.
FACT SHEET COPYRIGHT: AUSTRALIAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION