Misaligned Teeth are No Laughing Matter

In certain cultures, crooked teeth are considered cute and quirky. There are even dental offices in Japan that specialize in applying veneers to make perfectly straight teeth look less perfect.1 In reality, there’s nothing fun about teeth that are tilted. Tooth misalignment can actually have a negative impact on oral health, making it difficult to brush and floss in affected areas. This may lead to decay, gum disease and even tooth loss over time.2

Even if teeth appear to be straight, your dentist may suggest a visit to an orthodontist once the first permanent teeth have erupted (around age 7) to check on proper development and alignment.3 Signs that your child may need braces include difficulty chewing or biting, crowded or misplaced teeth, jaws that shift or make sounds, and teeth that meet abnormally or not at all.4 That actually goes for adults, too – it’s never too late to treat misaligned teeth, overbites, and certain jaw-joint disorders with braces.

If the orthodontist does recommend braces for you or your child, don’t worry – they’ve come a long way since the days of massive headgear. Today’s braces can be tooth-colored or clear retainers for those who want to keep them inconspicuous.5

1 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/fashion/in-japan-a-trend-to-make-straight-teeth-crooked-noticed.html?_r=0
2 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,20477
3 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,DD139
4 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,21455
5 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,DD109


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