How Dental Braces Can Fix Your Smile

Dental Problems Braces Can Correct

Dental Braces are very common nowadays, not just with students but also adults. In a world where first impressions count, braces helps to boost how others perceive you by improving your smile. Here are some common problems that can be treated using braces. While they are described individually, it is common for you to have a combination of these problems.

1. Dental irregularity or crowding

Simply put, this is when your teeth are crooked. 

Dental irregularity includes teeth that are:

-rotated or turned to one side

-in front or behind the main arch

-positioned above or below the main arch

-tipped sideways, forward or backward

What problems it may pose:

Aesthetic compromise: Irregularly positioned teeth make your smile look “messy”. 

Oral health impact: It also makes it harder to keep the teeth clean which makes you more prone to developing dental decay and gum disease

How braces can help you

Depending on the severity of the crowding, your teeth can be aligned with or without pulling out teeth (extractions). Sometimes your teeth can also be reshaped by filing the sides to create space to align your teeth. We often use a conservative approach in managing borderline cases where we will attempt to align your teeth first and reassess for the need to extract at a later stage.

2. Spaces

This happens when the teeth are not in contact with the adjacent teeth. Reasons for spaces between teeth include:

  1. Mismatch of tooth and jaw size (i.e. teeth too small for jaw or jaw too big for teeth), missing teeth
  2. Habits like tongue thrusting or thumb sucking
  3. Soft tissue causes, such as a high frenal attachment that “wedges” itself between teeth

What problems it may pose:

Aesthetic compromise: Spaces between teeth are usually considered unaesthetic because it looks as though the teeth have splayed apart. Spaces are also commonly seen in people with gum disease and may cause others to perceive that you have poor oral hygiene and oral health.

Oral health impact: Spaces can trap food particles which increases your risk of getting tooth decay and gum disease. 

Functional impairment: Spaces between teeth can cause  you to have speech problems such as a lisp. This is because air escapes when you make sounds that require you to press your tongue against your teeth, resulting in a whistling sound.

How braces can help

Braces can close the spaces between your teeth, if that is the best option. If you have missing teeth which require replacement, braces can consolidate and optimize the size of the spaces to facilitate the eventual replacement with a restoration such as an implant or bridge.

3. Excessive overjet

The overjet is the horizontal distance of your upper front teeth to the lower. When your upper front teeth stick out, you have an excessive overjet. You may have heard people casually call it buck teeth. A common misnomer is describing it as an “overbite”. An overbite is how much vertical overlap there is between the upper and lower front teeth.

What problems it may pose:

Aesthetic compromise: You might notice that in many movies or cartoons, the character with teeth that are jutting out is often depicted as being comical or unintelligent. Though your teeth do not determine your intelligence, it is sometimes stereotyped as such in the media and thus influences how people perceive you.

Safety risk: Because your teeth jut out, this increases the risk of teeth fracture when you fall. The complications can be a minor chip or more severe. Your teeth may require complicated treatment such as root canal treatment to save them or might need to be extracted if it cannot be saved.

How braces can help

Extractions are commonly done to create space so your front teeth can be brought inwards. The teeth that are usually extracted are the premolars which are located in the middle, between your front and back teeth. The back teeth function as “anchors” to pull your front teeth inwards into the extraction spaces.The lip’s profile often improves as it follows the retraction of your teeth. In some cases, the excessive overjet can be corrected without the need of extractions. Such cases may look deceptively severe at a glance but on closer examination shows potential to be treated without extractions.

4. Reverse overjet

In a proper bite, your upper teeth should be in front of your lower teeth. You have a reverse overjet when your lower front teeth in front of your upper teeth. Some people call it an underbite, which adds to confusion of using the word overbite to describe excessive overjet. Reverse overjet is the opposite of excessive overjet, but underbite is not the opposite of overbite (though it sounds like it makes sense). If your front teeth meet at the edges, then you have a reverse bite tendency. Sometimes you might posture your lower jaw forward to get a better bite and result in an actual reverse bite. It is important that the orthodontist knows how to check this, because it influences how your treatment is planned. This can be a deciding factor between a simpler or more complicated treatment such as jaw surgery.

What problems it may pose:

Aesthetic compromise: Your smile does not look nice because your upper front teeth are hidden by the lower. Your smile does not look “normal” as your teeth are positioned in the reversed way. The lower teeth are also of a different anatomy (mainly smaller) compared to the upper which further lowers the smile aesthetics. The reverse bite may also be related to your lower jaw being longer compared to your upper jaw. This may give you the appearance of a “moon shaped” face when viewed from the side. Some females do not like an excessively long jaw because they feel it makes them look more masculine.

Oral health impact: As your teeth do not meet in the normal way, they may undergo abnormal wear. This can mean increased wear on your back teeth or attrition on the edges of your front teeth. 

Functional impairment: A reverse overjet can contribute to a lisp when you pronounce the “s’ and “z’ sounds because your lower teeth need to be behind the upper to articulate these sounds well.

How braces can help:

Braces can correct your reverse overjet by either pushing your upper teeth forwards or lower teeth inwards, or a combination of both. Extractions are sometimes needed to be able to bring the lower teeth inwards. It is important to assess if you have a postured bite because it can make your condition appear worse than it actually is. 

With braces alone, your skeletal base structure remains the same. This means that your lower jaw will still look longer than your upper if this was the case originally. Your teeth are tilted to compensate for this to achieve a proper bite. Jaw surgery may be indicated if you desire a change in your facial profile or want a more ideal teeth angulation. In severe cases, surgery is also needed because your teeth cannot be adequately tilted to compensate for the jaw position.

5. Deep bite

The overbite is the amount your upper and lower front teeth overlap. When you have an excessive overbite, it is called a deep bite. In severe cases, one row of teeth in completely hidden by the opposite jaw, for example the upper front teeth are completely covering the lower front teeth. In such a case, you do not see your lower front teeth when you smile.

What problems it may pose:

Aesthetic compromise: Deep bites give you the appearance of a “squashed” smile. If you have a deep bite, you may also have a shorter lower face height and a lower jaw which is positioned more inwards. The lower jaw angle might also be flatter which contribute to a more squarish jaw.

Oral health impact: You may have a higher degree of dental wear with deep bites. This means your teeth may shorten faster than someone with a normal overbite.

How braces can help:

Braces can “open” up the bite to reduce the amount of overlap between your upper and lower front teeth. Jaw surgery can be helpful in certain cases with other skeletal discrepancies.

6. Open bites

An open bite occurs when your upper and lower front teeth do not meet. It can be caused by habits such as thumbsucking or functional disturbances such as breathing obstructions. You may also have a longer face height and narrower jaws when you have an open bite. 

What problems it may pose:

Aesthetic compromise: With an open bite, you like you are opening your mouth whenever you smile. While a bit of separation is normal when smiling sometimes, it can be perceives as unaesthetic if the open bite is severe. You may also have narrow dental arches with an open bite, which some people describe as looking like the front of a boat. 

Oral health impact: Your back teeth might be worn down abnormally because only these teeth are in contact. This means that your teeth may be worn down quicker than average or worn down on surfaces which normally shouldn’t be worn down because the teeth are not in proper contact.

Functional impairment: An open bite can contribute to a lisp when you pronounce the “s’ and “z’ sounds because your lower teeth need to be behind the upper to articulate these sounds well. You may also find that your front teeth are not very efficient in cutting small food such as noodles.

How braces can help:

Depending on how severe your open bite is, you may require just braces alone or braces with jaw surgery to completely close the open bite. Extractions are commonly required so the front teeth can be tilted inwards to close the open bite.

Are you are a student looking for affordable braces to fix your smile? Good news! Because at Bracesaurus, we offer one of the cheapest student braces in Singapore. Check out our pricing here.

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