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Is Orthodontic Treatment Inevitable?

by BTM

Tue, 30 October 2018

Orthodontic Treatment

Specialist orthodontist Dr Supradeep Kumar Kamisetty answers the question.

Considering 80 per cent of teens are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, braces and Invisalign Teen seem like rites of passage. Every day, parents visiting our orthodontic clinic ask, “Will my kid need braces?” or “Are braces inevitable?” There are a variety of factors that determine the answer. To shed light on the subject, we’ll go over when braces are needed, the causes of malocclusion or an improper bite, and if orthodontic treatment can be avoided with preventive measures.

Will My Child Need Braces?

Haven’t we all crossed paths with one of those lucky people who have a fantastic smile without the help of orthodontics? Yet they seem so few and far between. That’s because research indicates that 80 per cent of kids and teens have some degree of malocclusion, with crowding being the most common, followed by overjet, often referred to as an overbite. While anyone in this 80 per cent could benefit in some way from braces or Invisalign, not all of them will be in jeopardy if they skip the teeth-straightening process, particularly those with very mild cases.

Mostly, treatment is recommended to improve oral hygiene, for cosmetic purposes and to ensure long-term oral health. It’s estimated that around 15 per cent of patients have a serious, handicapping malocclusion, meaning it interferes with chewing, speaking or even causes pain. In these cases, it’s absolutely necessary to seek out treatment and the earlier you do so, the better.

Statistically, it’s highly likely that your child will have a degree of malocclusion. Whether or not they wear braces, unless they fall into the 15 per cent with serious orthodontic issues, will be a personal choice. However, when weighing the pros and cons, know that the benefits of straight teeth include being able to properly clean them to avoid expensive, painful dental work and having aligned jaws, which may ward off TMJ pain, headaches and changes to facial structure, preventing future bone loss, and more. Also, considering we’re a society that really values the appearance of people’s smiles, even patients whose crooked teeth are merely a cosmetic concern, particularly kids and teens who are vulnerable to teasing, will still want to consider braces or Invisalign. The power of self-confidence shouldn’t be underestimated!

What Causes Crooked Teeth?

A lot of orthodontic issues are caused by genetics. Crowding and spacing often present themselves because of an imbalance in the tooth-to-jaw-size relationship. With crowding, teeth can be too large for a smaller arch and spacing is sometimes thanks to teeth that are too narrow for the jaw. Overjet and underbites are typically skeletal in nature and result from a discrepancy between the jaws. Crossbites, especially a back crossbite, are also subject to the genetic lottery. 

Overjet is actually more common in certain ethnicities, including Caucasians and South Asians. A study found that humans’ transition from hunting and gathering to farming may have led to a shortening of the jaw that left less room for teeth, remember, we said crowding was the most common orthodontic problem. This is because, with the advent of farming, easier to chew, processed foods became the staples of our diet and we no longer needed such robust jaws.

While genetics play a huge role in the alignment of our teeth and jaws, certain habits and environmental factors can also create problems or worsen existing ones. Thumb sucking, extended pacifier and bottle use, nail biting and pen biting and losing baby teeth too early are tied to a range of diagnoses including front crossbite, crowding and spacing.

Make an appointment with Dr Supradeep Kumar Kamisetty and find out how your smile can be improved.

 Call 17 812-000, 17 812-222, 17 812-235 
or email supradeep@bsh.com.bh

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