Crooked Teeth are No Laughing Matter
In certain cultures, crooked teeth are considered cute and quirky. There are even dental offices in Japan that specialize in applying veneers to make perfectly straight teeth look less perfect.
In reality, there's nothing fun about teeth that are tilted. Tooth misalignment can actually have a negative impact on oral health, making it difficult to brush and floss in affected areas. This may lead to decay, gum disease and even tooth loss over time.
Even if teeth appear to be straight, your dentist may suggest a visit to an orthodontist to ensure proper development and alignment once the first permanent teeth have come in (around age 7).
How can you tell if your child needs braces?
• Difficulty chewing or biting
• Crowded or misplaced teeth
• Jaws that shift or make sounds
• Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all.
This list goes for adults, too – it's never too late to treat misaligned teeth, overbites, and certain jaw-joint disorders with braces. If the orthodontist does recommend braces for you or your child, don't worry – they’ve come a long way since the days of massive headgear. Today's orthodontics can be tooth-colored braces or clear retainers for those who want to keep them inconspicuous.