People caring about having aesthetically pleasing smiles is nothing new, it in fact is a very old concern that mankind has been concerned with even since ancient Egyptians ruled the earth. Archeological findings of mummified Egyptian remains have uncovered evidence that even them desired straight teeth and took measures to try to correct them. They did the same things that orthodontists did in the early to mid-1900s and placed metal bands around individual teeth to gain some control over their movement. The surface area of one’s teeth could not be used to attach any straightening anchors or mechanisms to like today, so they had to create surface area by way of metal bands. Then, they used some form of steel and in the early 1900s orthodontists used precious metals of some kind like gold, silver, platinum, copper or brass. It was not until the 1950s that stainless steel became the orthodontic metal of choice in the industry and it was not until almost three decades later that dental adhesive was finally perfected and put into practice in the orthodontic field.
It literally took thousands of years for a successful dental adhesive to be properly formulated in order to safely apply stainless steel, plastic and ceramic brackets to people’s teeth. For decades before this adhesive was perfected, the brackets that the adhesive was applied to in order to bond them to teeth had already gone through a major evolution in design. Brackets used today in the normal application of braces today are self-litigating, which means that they contain a patented, ‘trap door’ mechanism that makes adjustments very convenient for orthodontists. These brackets are commonly applied to children’s teeth during their early adolescence before their smiles have time to take shape. If allowed to naturally form as they will, one’s upper and lower jaw can easily grow into misalignment and the bones in one’s mouth can form in a way that gives a person’s teeth any real hope at coming straight. A misaligned jaw is called a malocclusion and there are more than several classifications of alignment issues that orthodontists identify and aim to correct.
The way that one’s teeth come together is important for many reasons. First of all, when they do not line up properly at the very least, they can be unsightly and lack aesthetic appeal. Severe over or underbites can be considered especially unattractive and they can also contribute to speech impediments. Second of all, certain malocclusions can cause tension headaches and TMJ to rear their ugly heads in one’s teenage or adult years and in these cases, braces would have almost always prevented this problem from occurring. Third, uneven wear of teeth can be caused when one’s bite does not match up properly and this matter can be badly exacerbated if they grind their teeth in their sleep. Fourth, dental and gum disease are far more common with people later in life who have not had braces because crooked or crowded teeth are simply more difficult to maintain than straight ones are. So, braces are not just for aesthetic appeal because they can prevent a laundry list of health concerns that could prove to be a painful inconvenience in someone’s life. There are indeed some obvious benefits that come from being comfortable with one’ smile though that cannot be overlooked either.
Parents are responsible for making many decisions on their child’s behalf but as it pertains to braces, if they do not get them braces it is clearly out of the child’s control. Luckily, just because someone misses what is considered the most ideal time to get orthodontic treatment does not mean that they cannot get it later in their lives. They may even find that there is a way to straighten teeth that does not include the use of metal brackets or wiring and that it is a more convenient process than they could have ever anticipated. Invisalign is a smile correction method that is used to align teeth for aesthetic appeal for teens and adults who in most cases missed the boat with regard to braces. Thin, transparent, plastic ‘aligners’ are custom-made using a 3-D printer in order to bring someone’s smile into alignment. Not everyone is considered a good candidate for this procedure but many whose orthodontist’s are optimistic about the results they can achieve are very excited about the idea of correcting their smiles without having to wear braces in order to do it. Any orthodontist is going to do whatever is in the best interest of their patient and if Invisalign is capable of producing excellent results then it will most likely be presented as the best possible option.