Metal-Mouth: Reasons You Might Need Braces

Years ago you didn't see many kids wearing braces, but now it seems like almost every teenager has them. Most of the time an orthodontist recommends braces for a medical reason, but occasionally a parent or child may request them for cosmetic reasons as well. Here is what you need to know about a decision to get braces.

Medical Reasons for Braces

When teeth do not align properly or are crowded then problems can occur. While a perfect bite has yet to be defined, orthodontists can identify an unhealthy bite. Malocclusion occurs when teeth do not match properly when a person bites down, causing problems with oral health.

Misaligned teeth can affect the way our food is chewed and can cause digestive problems. They can also cause premature wear on the adjacent teeth by putting extra pressure where it does not belong. In some cases, misaligned teeth cause speech impediments. Straightening the teeth can help kids fix speech problems they may have.

In addition to fixing the above problems, properly aligned teeth are easier to brush, floss, and keep clean, which reduces gum disease, tooth decay, and gingivitis. As a result, if an orthodontist suspects malocclusion, they will likely recommend braces to prevent further problems.

Cosmetic Reasons for Braces

Many times a child with only slightly crooked or misaligned teeth shows no symptoms of what can result from an imperfect bite. While a dentist may then say that braces are not medically necessary, the child or the parent may still opt to get them.

Children with crooked or buck teeth might be made fun of which can be damaging to a child's self-esteem. Additionally, studies have shown that individuals with a perfect smile are more likely to be chosen for jobs as well as dates. Another survey showed that those with straight teeth were thought to make $16,000 a year more than they did, were perceived to be younger and made more money than those with crooked teeth. Even if braces are not physically necessary, in many cases they may be emotionally needed to give a child the best chance in life.

There are many factors involved when deciding if a child needs braces or not. If there is not a symptomatic reason for needing braces, then it's going to be a personal decision based solely upon the child and parent's preferences. In all cases, it is always a good idea to talk to your child's dentist like KW Dentist about what options you have.