How To Determine If You Need Braces For Teeth Straightening

05 May 2021

How To Determine If You Need Braces For Teeth Straightening

There are many reasons people got themselves a set of braces for straighter teeth. The primary – and perhaps the most obvious reason – would be to have a nicer smile. A set of straight teeth could be that confidence booster some might need. Others may want straight teeth because it is easier to maintain cleanliness. It is easier to clean better with straighter teeth rather than hard-to-reach areas when teeth are crowded.

Sometimes, orthodontics (or teeth alignment) is performed to help others eat and speak better (functional reasons). However, it is important to note that orthodontics is not always necessary for healthy, functional teeth. Patients should only consider having their teeth straightened if they feel a need, be it functional or aesthetic. Whatever the reason, the objective of braces (or other orthodontics) can help achieve your goals.

Orthodontics (or the speciality of which teeth are moved to achieve good alignment) could be a solution for the following teeth misalignment issues:

Overcrowding of Teeth

Braces to Fix Overcrowding of Teeth

Overcrowding could lead to malalignment of teeth within and between the upper and lower teeth. Teeth crowding can increase the chance of tooth decay and gum diseases as teeth that overlap is more challenging to clean, which can result in poor oral hygiene.

Underbite or Overbite

Underbite Due to Jaw Discrepancy
Overbite Due to Jaw Discrepancy

Upper and lower jaw discrepancies could result in an underbite or an overbite.
In some cases, jaw discrepancies can also determine the soft tissue profile. Orthodontics to correct/ camouflage mild jaw discrepancies could sometimes improve the facial profile of patients.


Crossbite Due to Arch Asymmetry of Jaw

Crossbites or scissor bites could result from an arch asymmetry of the jaw. Crossbites could sometimes cause minor but often annoying issues when there is a lip trap or cheek-biting.

Excessive Spacing Between Teeth

Braces to Fix Excessive Spacing Between Teeth

Spacing – possibly due to congenitally missing teeth or the occurrence of small-sized teeth due to genetics.

Open Up Spaces Between Teeth

Braces to Open Up Spaces Between Teeth

To open up spaces for restorative prostheses: in some situations, orthodontics would have to be done to create adequate space for the finished prosthesis (such as a bridge, crown or implant).

Can Anyone Do Braces?

As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there are usually no problems with getting braces. Moreover, the advances in teeth aligning technology allow working adults and more mature patients to consider having their teeth straightened with more aesthetic options, such as Invisalign and Veneers.

Oral health maintenance is easier as the appliance is removable. The teeth aligner systems also give patients more flexibility in their visit to the dentist as patients are largely responsible for changing their teeth aligners weekly.

While age is not an issue, young children should be followed up and monitored by their parents and general dentists until they are old enough to get their braces. A good indication would be when their adult teeth start to erupt into place, following which appointments with their orthodontist would be recommended until they reach a suitable age to start braces treatment.

In conclusion, orthodontics or teeth alignments like braces are widely considered a non-invasive cosmetic procedure. It helps to improve the appearance of your teeth and improve ease in oral health maintenance. Emerging systems and advances in orthodontics give patients different teeth straightening options to treat their malaligned teeth.

Patients are encouraged to see their general practitioner or orthodontist of their choice have their teeth examined and orthodontic needs assessed. This will give patients an overview of the procedure, a projection of treatment duration and expected outcomes from the treatment.

Consult Dr Stephanie Yap by booking an appointment.

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About Author


Dr Stephanie Yap

Dr Yap is an experienced dental surgeon specialising in all aspects of general dentistry and aesthetic dentistry.
She obtained her Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from the National University of Singapore and was awarded 2nd runner up for her research topic as part of an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) that she participated in.
She is an active member of the Aesthetic Dentistry Society Singapore (ADSS), Singapore Dental Association (SDA) and Singapore Dental Council (SDC).

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