Braces provide orthodontists the tool to help fix teeth and jaw alignment. These can occur due to a bad bite (overbite, underbite, crossbite, or just crowding in the mouth). Abnormal bite patterns may become noticeable in children when they are anywhere from six to 12 years old, and for them, orthodontic treatment can be done from age eight to 14 years. While correcting tooth and bite alignment is most effective when a person is young, it can also take place at any age throughout adulthood with excellent results.
Wearing traditional metal braces realigns crooked teeth through the use of pressure, which is applied using the braces hardware. Crooked teeth and malocclusion can be corrected using anchored metal brackets on the molars, and then those brackets are threaded with wires. The metal brackets, which are cemented to your teeth, are connected by the wire and are then tightened during routine appointments. It gradually shifts and straightens crooked or crowded teeth and aligns your jaw.
Misaligned Bite and Jaw Pain
Orthodontics can also be done if the teeth are straight, but the jaws aren’t coming together as they should, which can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Injury or trauma
- Tooth loss occurring early or late
Jaw pain can sometimes result from the routine tightening of your braces when you go in for your orthodontic appointments as tension is created in the jaw, placing pressure on the mouth and facial areas. However, as the teeth shift, the body sees it as a kind of inflammation and sends blood cells over to help by releasing healing proteins.
To prevent damage to the braces hardware, you’ll want to avoid hard foods, including candy, ice cubes, nuts, or food you have to bite into, like corn that is still on the cob. You want to avoid breaking the wires of your braces to ensure that your scheduled progress stays on track.
In other cases, braces can help relieve pain if you already have jaw pain from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) arising because of bruxism (this is where you grind and clench your teeth together). Aligning the teeth can help your temporomandibular joint move back into the correct alignment, which in turn can lower or even get rid of chronic jaw pain. A properly aligned bite can also help you avoid teeth clenching and grinding while you are sleeping.
Better Oral Health
While most people want to straighten their teeth with braces to achieve a more attractive smile, it’s more important than just improving your appearance alone. With the help of orthodontics to correct alignment and straighten teeth, your mouth will also be healthier! That’s because straight teeth are more accessible to brush and floss, helping you avoid tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. It also prevents enamel erosion from wearing down your teeth because of a misaligned bite. You can also speak and chew again without restriction or jaw pain.
If you want to learn more about wearing braces to straighten teeth or correct a misaligned bite, we invite you to reach out to our experienced orthodontic team for a consultation. We are here to help you create a healthy smile that leaves you feeling confident and pain-free!