When your dentist suggests braces for your child, you might wonder if it’s really necessary. You may ask, “Is having a less than perfect smile an emergency?” Although braces may seem primarily cosmetic, they help correct major dental issues that can cause other health problems.
Gum disease (periodontal disease) can allow infection to enter the bloodstream and affect the heart. There may also be a link between periodontal disease and stroke, diabetes, birth defects, and some cancers, so a healthy mouth is more than an aesthetic issue.
Braces can correct:
- Underbite – Lower teeth overlap the top teeth.
- Overbite – Upper teeth protrude.
- Crossbite – One or more teeth is turned toward the cheek or tongue, causing an incorrect bite.
If a crossbite is left untreated, certain health issues may arise. It is not merely a “cosmetic fix.” Here are some problems a crossbite can create:
#1 – Speech Impediments
Speech and pronunciation are dependent on the positioning of the teeth, tongue, and lips. Challenges with any of these areas can cause difficulty speaking clearly and lead to other concerns, such as a lisp.
#2 – Uneven Tooth Wear and Jaw Growth
If teeth are not aligned properly when they meet (like when chewing), corresponding teeth can wear in an irregular manner. Human jaw bones grow until sometime between the ages of 13 and 18. A malocclusion like crossbite can cause the jaw to grow unevenly. Asymmetrical jaw growth can cause slurred speech, difficulty swallowing or chewing, snoring, and/or an imbalanced facial appearance.
The temporomandibular joint lives where the jaw meets the skull (just between the cheekbone and ear). When this joint becomes inflamed, by a crossbite or other issue, it causes pain, causes the jaw to pop in and out. In some cases, the jaw can become locked, restricting how widely it can open or preventing the mouth from opening at all. This condition requires surgery or orthodontic treatment to correct.
Braces do not solely serve the purpose of cosmetic improvement. Their primary function is to help improve the position of teeth and help with overall oral health. When a crossbite is left uncorrected, preventable problems may ensue. Contact Cosmo Dental Centre. We’ll create an individualized plan for children of all ages and make them comfortable in the process. Call us at (519) 659-2767 to see how your smile can be better and healthier.