Your smile is your greeting to the world. It’s like a light shining in darkness and can brighten a room. We hear all the time that a smile is contagious and you can observe the evidence every day. Somehow a smile allows us to improve our mood, whether it’s because we are smiling or we receive a smile from someone else. Smiling is our best accessory and serves us well when we remember to wear it. Phyllis Diller once said, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” What a magical thing our smile can be.
Through my years of practice as an orthodontist I have seen the magic a smile can bring. I have found that a beautiful smile adds to self-esteem and self-confidence. Research even shows a good smile can lead to better grades and toward career advancement. We live in a competitive world and a great smile can give you the edge.
Your smile is also an important part of your dental health. Crooked teeth or spaces between the teeth may be a source of embarrassment or self-consciousness. Improperly aligned teeth and jaws can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, jaw joint issues and has even been linked to heart problems. Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. A malocclusion – improperly aligned teeth and jaws -- can cause tooth enamel to wear abnormally, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, and excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue. Without treatment, many problems simply become worse. With good care, teeth can last a lifetime.
We often think that orthodontic treatment is just for kids. It is true that treatment during active growth and development may yield results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have completed their growth. That is one reason to have an orthodontist evaluate children for treatment. But age is not a limitation when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Today, adults account for one in every five orthodontic patients. Thanks to the variety of “appliances” used by orthodontists, adults may be able to inconspicuously achieve the great smile they want.
The goal of orthodontic treatment is a beautiful smile and a good bite—meaning straight teeth that mesh well with the teeth in the opposite jaw and look great. A good bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak. Orthodontic treatment can correct malocclusions and help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that’s good for life. It is more than straight teeth. Adjusting how the teeth and jaws work together, improving a functional relationship, is the specialty of an orthodontist. Orthodontic treatment creates a better bite, making teeth fit better, and decreases the risk of future, and potentially costly dental problems.
With the magic that a smile can bring, an orthodontist wants to help you achieve that opportunity to light up that room and be the best you. Show the world what a beautiful smile you have!