Do You Really Need Braces?!

Today I will answer a question from one of the comments before: how much do your teeth move with braces and why do we really need them? That is a good question. There’s a lot to unpack here.

How far or how much do your teeth move? That depends on where your teeth start and where we want to move them to. If you only have a very small amount of crowding, your teeth don’t need to move very far and in those cases, they might only move a couple of millimeters. But there are some patients that have a dramatic correction needed. We’ll show a few here.

As you can see in these pictures, these patients had some significant tooth movement. Your teeth might move eight millimeters in any direction they might move forward or back. They might twist. Some patients might have an impacted tooth that we need to pull down. Depending on your tooth problem or bite problem you might have some significant movement. If you only have minor correction needed, there may not be that much movement.

Why do you really need them? This depends on what specifically is your tooth or bite problem. Some patients who only have minor crowding and no significant concerns otherwise may not need braces it might only be a cosmetic thing. But that’s okay too. Cosmetics concerns are real if you don’t feel confident about your teeth. If you don’t like the way your smile and feel embarrassed to smile in photos, that’s a good enough reason to get your teeth corrected. It may not be a long-term health implication. It may be more like a cosmetic concern. If this fixing their smile gives you the confidence to smile and to feel good about yourself, that’s a good enough reason as well. Same thing with doing your hair, doing your makeup, and the clothes you wear. If that helps you feel better about yourself, to gives you confidence, that’s not a bad thing and it’s worth doing also.

For some patients, there are some long-term health effects of living with crooked teeth in a bad bite. If you have a bad bite, it may damage chip the teeth. It may lead to jaw problems, TMJ problems, and an inability to properly clean and floss, which can lead to long-term gum and periodontal problems. For some patients, braces are definitely necessary from a health perspective. For some patients, it may be just a cosmetic and for many patients, it’s both of those. If you have any cosmetic concerns, definitely see an orthodontist for a consultation and they’ll be able to advise you how much tooth movement is needed if it’s necessary for your teeth. If it’s just cosmetic or if there are any long-term health implications and for many patients, braces are something that’s definitely beneficial and it’s usually a year and a half to two years of your life, and if you do that, you can set yourself up for long-term healthier teeth and also have a smile that you like and that is something that’s worth doing as well.

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