Monday, August 4, 2014

The Pitfalls of Not Getting Orthodontic Treatment

Some people think that orthodontic treatment is done only for aesthetic purposes. This could not be farther from the truth. Properly aligned teeth are necessary for more than a pretty smile. Actually, a pretty smile is only a byproduct of the actual benefits.

Orthodontic treatment corrects bite irregularities. When you close your mouth, your upper and lower jaw should line up.  For some people, their upper and lower jaws are different sizes. This causes the top teeth to protrude (overbite) or the lower teeth to protrude (underbite). These conditions are also called malocclusions. If your bite does not line up correctly, then you need orthodontic treatment. Failure to correct bite problems leads to jaw tension, bone damage, headaches, and other problems. If your bite is misaligned then your teeth may wear unevenly, which can weaken enamel and lead to tooth loss.

Orthodontic treatment also corrects crooked, spaced, and crowded teeth. Straight teeth serve more than an aesthetic purpose. Chewing is the first step in digestion. Improperly aligned and crooked teeth cause problems with chewing food, which can lead to digestive problems if the food is not broken down completely in the mouth. Stomach problems are common in people who do not undergo orthodontic treatment because they cannot chew their food right, which irritates the stomach and can produce a lifetime problem.

Crowded teeth make it difficult to properly brush and floss. If you are unable to get the bacteria out of the spaces in between your teeth, cavities will develop. Over time, the festering bacteria lead to gingivitis and gum disease.  Combined with a misaligned bite, this leads to chronic jaw pain and headaches. Failing to correct misaligned bites and teeth lead to speech difficulty, facial asymmetry, and tooth grinding.

It is difficult to predict what the outcome will be if you choose not to get orthodontic treatment, but it most likely will not be positive. If your eye doctor recommends glasses, you would get them. If your medical doctor recommended that you get physical therapy, you would not second-guess his recommendation. The same should hold true for orthodontic treatment. It is a legitimate and medically necessary treatment that should be taken seriously.

The beautiful appearance that is a byproduct of orthodontic treatment is a great bonus! There is nothing wrong with having a beautiful smile, especially when you know that your teeth and mouth are healthy as well. Give your orthodontist a call today.

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