In recent years, a small gap between the teeth has suddenly become trendy among models because people associate it with a youthful appearance. However, that trend has quickly come and gone, and more people are beginning to return to the realization that having gaps in their smile is not always ideal. In addition to marring your self-confidence, teeth that are misaligned can also impact your overall health by interfering with things such as you get proper nutrition. As you consider your options for correcting your teeth, here are a few points that you might want to cover during your meeting with your orthodontist.
Understanding The Causes of Widely Spaced Teeth
Spaces between your teeth can happen during both childhood when they may not be of as much concern, or you could have it happen as an adult because of issues such as injuries to the mouth or extractions. You can also have widely spaced teeth develop because of oral habits such as tongue thrusting. When widely spaced teeth are identified in children, it could simply be that their jaw is larger than the amount of room that their baby teeth need. In this case, the problem may correct itself as the adult teeth come in. However, children with the majority of their adult teeth in their jaw will need to be examined to determine if they require braces to correct the gaps before they become a long-term problem. Often, widely spaced teeth are hereditary, and it is very common for a parent to discover that their child also needs braces to correct similar gaps as they have in their own mouths.
Issues With Oral Hygiene
At first glance, it would seem as though widely spaced teeth makes it easier to clean in between them, but this is not true. The spaces between your teeth can become food traps that hold more particles closely against the sides of each tooth. You may also find it harder to floss between these teeth because you have to pay more attention to ensuring that the dental floss smoothly glides against each side of the tooth.
Increased Risk of Gum Disease and Decay
As you struggle with maintaining your oral hygiene, the food particles left in between your teeth break down into plaque and calculus. Once this happens, your gums become vulnerable to the bacteria in your mouth, and you may become at risk for developing gingivitis or periodontitis. People with large gaps between their teeth are also more likely to develop decay between their teeth where plaque has been allowed to accumulate. Dealing with serious gum disease places your entire body in jeopardy because the bacteria associated with periodontitis can also affect your heart health.
Concerns About Misalignment and Jaw Pain
One of the causes for gaps between your teeth is a misaligned bite that causes your teeth to shift out of place. People with crooked bites tend to experience long-term pain that affects their jaw, ears, and forehead. You may also find that your teeth hit with too much force on certain surfaces. This can lead to problems further down the road such as chipped teeth or worn down areas that are more vulnerable to sensitivity. When large gaps or a misaligned bite is determined to be the source of your facial pain, Invisalign can help get your teeth into the proper places for giving you relief.
Problems Associated With Poor Chewing Abilities
Although you may be concerned about how the gaps between your teeth affect your smile, you should be aware that your physician may find that they affect your overall health by making it hard for you to chew. Gaps between your teeth that are very large may make it impossible for you to properly chew harder foods such as vegetables that are necessary for a healthy diet. You may also experience more digestive distress because you swallow large chunks of food. Since your digestive process begins at the moment that food hits your mouth, making sure that your teeth can properly break down your food is important for getting proper nutrition.
Correcting Widely Spaced Teeth
While you can’t always prevent developing gaps in your teeth, the great news is that you have several options available for correcting them. The first step is to begin by talking to your orthodontist about any problems that you have that you believe are related to your teeth. For example, you might need to tell them about the following symptoms:
- Bleeding gums or pain when chewing
- Bad breath
- Low self-confidence when speaking or smiling in public
- Difficulty eating hard foods
- Stomach pain shortly after eating
- Nighttime tooth grinding
- Decay between your teeth
- Heart disease
Choosing The Right Treatment
Your orthodontist will help you pick the best treatment to fit your lifestyle and your oral health needs. Currently, many people prefer Invisalign because it makes it possible to reduce gaps between your adult teeth without being obvious to everyone else. This treatment method also makes it easier for you to keep your teeth clean since the plastic aligners can be removed when you need to complete your oral hygiene routine. Traditional braces can also be used to correct gaps, so be sure to explore every option that you have available.
Schedule an Appointment Today
To learn more about orthodontic treatment, contact McDermott Orthodontics in Minnesota to schedule an appointment. Dr. Michael McDermott offers free consultations at several locations, including:
• Delano – 763-972-4444
• Pequot Lakes – 218-568-5600
• Brainerd – 218-829-1630
• Baxter – 218-829-1630
Our orthodontist has been providing examinations to adults, teenagers, and children for over 15 years, using these devices:
• Damon System – made with self-ligating brackets
• Ceramic Braces – color-matching brackets
• Invisalign – aligners made from durable clear plastic
At our orthodontic office, patients are fitted with aligners after we use the iTero scanner to create molds. Our patients can also request an Acceledent Aura device to use at home to reduce their treatment time. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at McDermott Orthodontics.