– Do you think you could benefit from wearing braces? For some, braces are a necessary to improve the mouth function and ensure proper dental care. For others, they are purely a cosmetic enhancement. Which type of patient are you?
“Every patient I see has a different reason for wanting or needing braces,” says Dr. Pamela Li, an Ottawa dentist
. “For patients with malocclusions, braces are needed to improve the function of their teeth and jaws and prevent future dental issues. But others may think their gap or crossed over teeth are a bit unsightly.”
The way your teeth fit together is known as occlusion, and misalignment is known as malocclusion. There are three types of malocclusions. A Class I malocclusion is the ideal relationship between the upper and lower teeth – teeth function properly, but there may be a bit of spacing or crowding present. A Class II is commonly referred to as an overbite. The patient will have their lower molars positioned posterior and the upper jaw will appear to protrude forward. A Class III is referred to as an underbite, where the lower molar will be positioned anterior and the lower jaw will protrude forward.
While some patients may have an ideal bite, they may still have some degree of crowding or spacing that they deem unattractive. In these instances, braces may not be a medical necessity, but a cosmetic dentist may still work with the patient to help them achieve their ideal smile.
“Sometimes a mouth isn’t quite large enough to accommodate all of the permanent teeth,” says Dr. Li. “Some people lose baby teeth too early or too late and this can inhibit the growth of the permanent tooth, forcing it to erupt in an incorrect position. For others, the jaw doesn’t develop properly due to bad oral habits such as mouth breathing, thumb sucking and other bad oral habits.”
Small teeth or jaw size can contribute to spacing issues. Many people choose to embrace their gaps, but others turn to cosmetic dentistry to correct them.
Braces may be more a medical necessity for patients who suffer Class II or III malocclusions. Crowded teeth aren’t able to be cleaned as well, which leads to decay and over time, can lead to other serious dental issues, such as decay and periodontal disease. Additionally, improper bites can lead to wear of the teeth and eventual breakage.
The good news is, no matter what your reason for choosing braces, there is now a straightening option for everyone. Dental technology is rapidly progressing, so patients have a variety of options to choose from. Invisalign
allows patients to comfortably and discretely achieve a better smile. Lower profile options, such as self-ligating and lingual braces, also give patients a more aesthetically pleasing way to straighten their teeth.
If you feel you could benefit from braces, now is the time to schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist and get the smile you deserve.
To learn more about Dr. Li’s practice or to make an appointment, visit www.drpamelali.com.
Dr. Li has been serving the Ottawa area since 1997. Call our office at 613-232-0550.
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