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Did your permanent teeth erupt in a less-than-perfect formation, or does your lower jaw not quite align with the rest of your mouth? Should you do anything about it? Braces may not be ideal, but they’re important for both aesthetic and oral health reasons.

Aesthetic:

Braces push teeth into a straighter formation and align jawlines by applying constant pressure, usually over a period of one to four years. As your teeth shift, your orthodontist will periodically tighten the wires to maintain that pressure. If you properly care for your teeth during this time, when the braces are removed, you will have a noticeably straighter, whiter smile. Some people opt for braces on only the upper or lower portions of their mouths to straighten overlapping teeth. In the end, braces help you feel comfortable and confident about your smile.

Oral health:

Less-than-straight teeth may not bother you, and that’s fine. However, if your mouth requires braces, then the formation of the teeth and jaw are probably jeopardizing your oral health. Crowded, crooked teeth are difficult to keep clean, which increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If your jaw is out of alignment, you may have an overbite, underbite, open bite or crossbite. Each of these jaw positions put stress on your teeth, making chewing difficult. Depending on the severity of the condition, they cause constant discomfort and result in the loss of enamel or the development of a TMJ disorder.

If you’re unsure of your need for braces, speak to a dentist. Drs. Jorge de la Osa specializes in both dentistry and orthodontia, so he can assess whether or not you need braces, as well as determine which type of braces is best for you. To reach Drs. Jorge de la Osa, contact Sunshine Dental Group at 323.266.2120. Our facility is located in Commerce, California.