It’s becoming increasingly common to see adults wearing braces, or you might suddenly notice someone has a straighter smile. In fact, thanks to modern technology the number of options available to adults wishing to straighten their teeth has greatly increased over just a few years. There is no need to wear traditional metal braces that are highly visible and which can be somewhat embarrassing. Instead less visible options can precisely move teeth into the correct positions. Orthodontics is designed to help correct the position of teeth, but can also improve the way teeth bite together which is called occlusion. Quite a few people will find their teeth don’t bite together properly, and there are a number of different problems that can be corrected through wearing braces.
Common problems include crossbites, overbites, underbites and open bites. Lots of people have a very slight overbite, as this is where the upper front teeth bite too far in front of the lower front teeth. In many cases treatment might not be necessary, but if the overbite is quite substantial then it can create problems with the way the lower teeth wear down, and can make it quite difficult to bite into things properly.
An underbite is the opposite problem, where the lower front teeth are too far forward of the upper front teeth. This can be due to the upper jaw being too small, or the lower jaw being too large. An open bite can develop if someone sucked their thumb as a child, and is where the front teeth fail to occlude or bite together at all. This can make it quite awkward to bite into things. It is very common to have a bit of a crossbite, as this is where the upper teeth bit slightly inside the lower teeth. In a completely normal bite, the upper teeth will bite outside the lower teeth.
Correcting problems with the way your teeth bite together can create a more pleasing appearance, and can improve tooth function. Most people will be far more interested in improving the way their teeth look, but Dr Amina Abdel-Karim or another dentist at Glow Dental will be able to show you exactly how these improvements could help the health of your teeth. Teeth that bite together properly will wear down more evenly and are less likely to crack and fracture, as all the biting forces will be spread evenly through all your teeth. You’re also more likely to find it easier to brush and floss, improving gum health and reducing the risk of cavities.
Many adults will require only minor orthodontic treatment, and this might be to correct problems that weren’t treated when they were young, or where previous treatment has relapsed. Tooth positions do change as we age, and it is important to wear a retainer once treatment is completed. This is generally a removable appliance that will need to be worn almost full-time immediately following treatment, with the number of hours being gradually decreased as the teeth settle down. Your dentist in Battersea can advise you on all the different options available for orthodontic treatment, including the costs and the time required to complete this therapy.