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Do you have less-than-straight teeth but are putting off braces because a straighter smile doesn’t seem worth the effort? Well, you should know that braces do more than make your smile more aesthetically appealing. Braces improve your oral health, too.

When permanent teeth erupt, they sometimes become too crowded or spaced widely apart, resulting in a crooked (even overlapping) formation. Crooked teeth aren’t easy to clean, and if you can’t brush and floss properly, your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease increases significantly. Braces will shift your teeth over time by applying constant pressure. As the teeth become straighter, they will be easier to clean, preserving your smile longer.

Crooked teeth are often the result of a lower jaw that doesn’t align properly. If this is the case, you have bigger concerns that just the look of your teeth. Mismatched jaw formation causes teeth to rest improperly against one another, creating pressure and friction. Consequences of this issue range from loss of enamel to developing a TMJ disorder. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders create a painful lower jaw that locks or makes speaking and chewing difficult. When braces shift your teeth, they also shift your jaw, pushing or pulling it into proper formation to ease pressure and friction.

You may not be enthused about the idea of wearing braces, but they will save you a lot of grief in the long run. Drs. Frederick Stark and Brad Norden of Derby Family Dentistry specialize in both dentistry and orthodontia, and will be able to tell you whether you need braces and what style best fit your needs. If you need braces in Derby, Kansas, contact Derby Family Dentistry at 316-788-4000 and preserve your oral health.