MYTH: Orthodontic treatment is purely cosmetic.
TRUTH: Function first, but cosmetic improvements are often a happy side effect.
This week we address the common myth that depicts braces as a purely cosmetic treatment. This is my least favorite myth on so many levels. Many people assume that they don’t need braces because they don’t mind their imperfections but then run into major health problems later in life.
Teeth that are aligned and healthy not only look good but hold up well to wear and tear. Poor bite relationships can wreak havoc, causing premature tooth wear and fracture/breakage, as well as gum and jaw problems. A misaligned bite could also lead to chronic headaches, earaches and gastrointestinal problems from the impact of improper chewing. Braces will help avoid all these health concerns while facilitating better oral hygiene, improved digestion and nutrition habits. In addition, straightening your teeth will reduce your chances of gum disease, stop bone erosion, and correct speech impediments.
Orthodontic treatment can also enable other dental work, such as creating space for crowns or dental implants. Bottom line: There are many functional reasons for orthodontic treatment, and an attractive smile is a fun bonus.