The term “malocclusion” refers to an incorrect alignment of the upper and lower dental arches, meaning the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly when your jaw is at rest. The most common forms of malocclusion are overbite (upper teeth extend too far), underbite (lower teeth extend too far), and crossbite (teeth angle toward the cheek or toward the tongue, instead of straight up). The most common form of treatment for a misaligned bite is braces. Many teenagers and adults, however, would prefer not to adorn their teeth with metal wires and brackets for the duration of treatment, which could take years. Luckily, your Corona dentists have options to straighten your teeth discretely, without the use of unsightly metal hardware.
Invisalign vs Traditional Braces
A common problem with traditional metal braces is that, for the duration of treatment, patients have to take extreme care with the food they eat. Popcorn, pizza crusts, pretzels, corn on the cob, and many other delicious foods are off limits when you have a complex network of metal attached to the front of your teeth. Invisalign technology abolishes the need for cumbersome hardware. The smooth, virtually invisible plastic aligners are not only discrete, they are removable, so you can eat whatever you like during the course of your treatment. Invisalign also eliminates those awkward moments when jagged metal brackets scratch or scrape the inside of your mouth.
Because the aligners are removable, cleaning teeth is also much easier with Invisalign. The complicated attachments of metal braces make cleaning all of the surfaces of your teeth difficult. Food debris and plaque have ample spaces around metal braces to settle down and remain virtually untouched, increasing your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Why Not Seeking Treatment Should Not Be an Option
If you have difficulty deciding on the perfect treatment plan, or if you simply believe that malocclusion is not a serious enough problem to address, then not seeking treatment is definitely an option. When not treated, however, misalignment can cause a plethora of issues, some of which you may not have a choice but to treat. When your teeth do not fit together properly, your jaw has to work extra hard to keep your mouth aligned when you talk or eat. This extra strain on your jaw can cause problems with your temporomandibular joints (TMJs), which connect your lower jaw to your skull and allow its many complex movements. A misaligned bite can also lead to excessively worn down teeth, as well as pain in your face, head, neck, and shoulders.
To learn more about your options for straighter teeth, or to schedule a consultation, checkup, or cleaning, call Dental Associates of Corona today at 951-273-9580.