Brits can be a funny lot. We are somewhat stoical, accepting things maybe more than others as our lot in life, although we do love a good moan about it too!
When I meet people and they know what I do for a job, I often hear “I’d love to get my teeth straightened but……..” . There are a hundred and one reasons why they don’t do it. Cost is one of them (or the most likely excuse – although that can be a smokescreen for the real reason!), but often we are worried what other people will think of us if we decided to go ahead. In modern society where social media is so dominant, how we look and behave is always under scrutiny and this can influence our decisions both positively and negatively.
But is having your teeth straightened purely vanity? If you look at orthodontic webpages there will be lots of benefits shared – it’s easier to clean straight teeth, helps you feel more confident etc… All good reasons, but there is definitely more to this than good looking teeth.
I recently learnt something from a dental colleague, something I perhaps hadn’t considered before. He is not a specialist orthodontist, just a regular dentist who has a passion for learning and improving. He was humble enough to admit that in the past he had recommended veneers to straighten teeth rather than braces. Being their regular dentist meant he got to follow these patients for a very long time. The veneers lasted but the teeth had got more crooked, so the pleasing result soon became worse than before he had placed the corrective veneers. He described this as “Dental Tectonics”.
What he recommends and does now for his patients is orthodontic correction, then the veneers if they are even needed. Surprising to him was that once the teeth were straighter, many of the patients were happy to accept the slight irregularities or imperfections! He also found that repairs to broken front teeth were more likely to have a long life if the patient had their teeth straightened and bite corrected properly. Having the bite functioning properly meant it protected the teeth better (after all a lot of the damage that had happened to the teeth was because the bite wasn’t correct in the first place).
Making sure that your teeth are in a good position is definitely more than vanity. It can help you maintain your teeth and the dental work you have also invested in. If you’ve thought about straightening your teeth but don’t think its worth the cost or hassle then consider this. Over time those crooked teeth will get worse, any dental work you have done may have a shorter lifespan and it may cost you more in the long run to put right.