Are braces cosmetic dentistry?
Throughout your lifetime, you may come across a need to get braces. This can be a little bit scary as you worry about whether others will notice your braces and whether they will work well for your dental problems or not. One question that a lot of people may have when it comes to getting braces or not is whether this is considered a form of cosmetic dentistry or not.
Braces are often considered cosmetic dentistry because they help to improve the appearance of the teeth, explains experienced Long Beach dentist, Stephen Coates, DDS. However, many dentists will also count them as a critical option based on the look and function of the teeth. While braces are going to help improve the smile, the braces are functional in that they will help realign the teeth for proper biting and eating while preventing further issues as well.
Braces are unique in that they not only help improve the smile of the patient, but they will work hard to make oral health a bit better as well. This is why they will often be classified as regular dental procedures, unlike some of the other cosmetic procedures. Let’s take a closer look at braces and how they can improve your smile.
Are braces an Orthodontic procedure or cosmetic dentistry?
There is a lot of confusion about whether braces are considered an orthodontic procedure or if they are considered cosmetic dentistry. The answer to this is confusing because braces can work on both. For the most part, braces, as well as clear aligners, are going to be orthodontic procedures. But since they can help improve the look of your teeth and your smile, they are sometimes considered cosmetic.
The reason that braces are sometimes considered cosmetic is that when people invest in clear aligners or braces, they are doing this as a way to improve their appearance. They want to make sure that their teeth and smiles look as good as possible for years to come.
On the other hand, braces are sometimes an orthodontic treatment. There are times when clear aligners or braces will be medically necessary, or the individual will have some serious problems with the health of their teeth. The braces will help put the teeth back into alignment to avoid some of these issues.
Whether you choose clear aligners or braces, both of these devices are going to add some pressure to the teeth. The goal is to help move the teeth slowly back into the right position over time, which can be medically necessary. At the same time, they will improve the look and feel of your smile.
It is most common that children will get traditional metal braces to help realign their teeth and make them look good. Teens and adults who need to get braces are more likely to get clear options because these are less noticeable.
Do I need braces?
The best way to tell whether you need braces for any reason is to visit your dentist and get a checkup done. This will help you determine whether your teeth are crooked or not or if there are other things that you can do for the overall health of those teeth. Some of the signs that you can look for to help you decide if it is time to go to an appointment to check on your teeth for braces include:
- You have teeth that are visibly crowded or crooked
- You have trouble brushing or flossing around the crooked teeth
- You find that you are biting or cutting your tongue on your teeth
- You have teeth that won’t close over each other well when you have your mouth resting.
- You may have trouble pronouncing sounds because of where your tongue is positioned on the teeth
- Jaws that click or make noise when you wake up in the morning or when you choose
- Stress on the jaw when you are done chewing food.
If you have any of these signs with your teeth, especially if you have more than one at a time, then it is a good idea to set up an appointment with your dentist to look into the problem. This can help you to take care of the teeth and get braces if necessary.
Choosing to Get Braces
You will need to work with your dentist to determine whether braces are medically necessary for you. There are some products that will allow you to straighten the teeth if you just want it done for cosmetic reasons, but most people who get clear aligners or braces will do so for a medical need. This is what helps make it an orthodontic procedure, even though it does help improve the smile. Take a look at some of the information above to help you out when choosing the right treatment for your needs.