If you’re a parent, teen, or young adult and you’re considering braces, there are many things to think about before making a final decision. It’s no secret that having braces can feel invasive at times, and one common concern is whether the cost and inconvenience are worth it, especially if you have only a minor dental issue. What many people don’t realize is that quite often, something that may seem minor now can develop into a serious problem down the road if it isn’t addressed. Keep reading for some useful information about specific dental issues, pictures of before and after braces, and how your life can improve with braces before and after.
Braces Before And After
There is a wide range of different issues that may end up requiring braces. Some are minor aesthetic problems that are more superficial, and some are bigger issues that can impact your oral health in the long term if you don’t find a solution. Here are some of the common issues that occur before braces:
Overcrowding or Unevenly Spaced Teeth
Overcrowding inside your mouth or unevenly spaced teeth are two issues that are common before you get braces. If you have a space between your two front teeth, it is known as diastema. You may also have gaps between other teeth that can potentially cause issues. If your mouth is overcrowded, you know just how uncomfortable can be when it comes to chewing or speaking.
Overbites and Underbites
Overbites and underbites are issues that deal with the jaw. With an overbite, there may be a mild to severe extension of the upper jaw when compared to the lower jaw, making your chin look smaller than usual and causing issues chewing. With an underbite, the lower jaw is more forward than the upper, making the chin look awkward or protruding.
If your jaw is misaligned, you’ll have issues chewing and may experience pain or discomfort in your mouth that lessens your quality of life. Jaw misalignment can also have a negative impact on your facial structure, making your face look asymmetrical and impacting your appearance.
Mismatched Dental Midlines
The dental midline is the midsagittal line between your upper jaw and your lower jaw. If this midline is off slightly, it can impact how your jaw sits and the way your face looks. It doesn’t even have to be off by much, even a few millimeters can make a difference.
Chewing or Speech Issues
Most of the issues mentioned above can result in problems chewing or speaking. In some cases, people have minor speech impediments that are caused by dental issues before braces. And if your teeth are crooked or your jaw is misaligned to the point that it impacts your ability to chew, it can have an impact on digestion and your overall enjoyment of life.
Problems with Self-Esteem
Aside from the structural and dental reasons, having issues with jaw alignment or spacing, overcrowding, and crooked teeth can have a negative impact on self-esteem. Many people who have dental issues that affect their smile end up smiling less and don’t let everyone else discover their true personality. It’s no secret that issues with self-esteem can affect many areas of life, both social and professional.
After braces, most people report incredible benefits that have changed many aspects of their life. It does feel strange at first when you get braces removed, and your teeth feel much smaller and slippery, but you’ll quickly get used to it and realize that everything you just went through was definitely worthwhile. Here’s some of what you can expect after you have the braces removed:
Straight teeth that are evenly spaced and look symmetrical when compared to the rest of the face are the ideal, and this is usually what you’re going to get after braces. Over time, your braces will shift the position of your teeth until they are aligned perfectly, removing whatever issues you had before you ventured into the world of orthodontics.
Easier to Brush and Floss Your Teeth
Brushing and flossing are two hallmarks of good oral health, and it can be more challenging to brush and floss teeth that are crooked or overcrowded. In some cases, it can almost be impossible to floss between overcrowded teeth, so after you have braces and your teeth are spaced evenly, you’re able to floss and maintain good oral hygiene much easier.
Better Overall Oral Health
Easier brushing and flossing and normal spacing between your teeth will improve your overall oral health and reduce the buildup of bacteria and food debris on your teeth and gums. The end result will be fewer issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, which is always a good thing.
Easier to Chew Food
Straightening your teeth also improves your bite, which makes it easier to chew food, and when you’re able to chew food and grind it properly, it will improve your digestion. Ideally, your teeth are used to grind up food particles until they are almost a liquid, making it easy for your digestive system to process. After braces, you’ll be able to chew properly and realize all of the benefits of better digestion you may not have been getting before.
Lower Likelihood of Dental Injuries
When your teeth are straightened and no longer protruding, there will be a lower likelihood of suffering certain dental injuries. If you play sports or are generally active, protruding teeth will naturally be more at risk, but after braces, they will be precisely where they are supposed to be, lowering the risk of injury from blunt force impact.
Speak More Clearly
If your speech was affected due to crooked teeth or overcrowding, you’ll notice that it’s much easier to speak after braces. Not only will everyone be able to understand you better, but you’ll likely experience a boost in your self-esteem as you are no longer self-conscious about speaking in public.
Lower Risk of TMJ
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is an issue that can occur from excessive stress or pressure on your jawbone and jaw muscles caused by crooked teeth. If you previously suffered from the jaw pain and headaches associated with TMJ, you may notice that you have total relief after having your braces removed.