Malocclusion is Just The Tip of the Iceberg


The procedure of straightening teeth has gone through many changes in the past few decades. New information about how teeth move through bone tissue has brought about the advancement of new technologies and techniques in correcting malocclusion. This is great news for those with misaligned teeth.

The newest things on the market are the do-it-yourself approaches to straightening teeth. With these services, you can bypass the dentist altogether. But wait – that may not be the wisest decision. In fact, patients who go this route often find themselves in the dental chair with bigger problems and sometimes irreversible damage.

What You See Vs. What You Don’t See

You look in the mirror and you notice your teeth are not aligned correctly. The teeth may be a little out of alignment, or your bite may be entirely off to the point where your speech is affected. However, what you see in the mirror is only part of the story.

There are reasons for misalignment. Most crooked teeth are the result of genetics. Bad habits can contribute to misalignment as well. At the top of the list of bad habits is thumb-sucking. This practice can reshape the bone over time.

Illness or injury are also factors. An injury to the jaw can cause the teeth to move out of alignment. When you have missing teeth, the adjacent teeth can shift, causing a cascade effect of problems if the gap is not closed. This is true for primary teeth as well as permanent teeth. Taking good care of those baby pearly whites is crucial for proper development and alignment of the permanent teeth.

Beneath the surface, there may be issues with the jawbone that can cause teeth to be out of alignment. In rare instances, there may be other teeth below the surface that are causing alignment problems.

So, you see, malocclusion can involve more than just teeth being out of alignment. A dentist examines teeth, gums, and bone structure before deciding on the best method of straightening teeth. A DIY approach is not able to cover all the bases, some of which may be critical in determining a safe and effective method for correcting misalignment.

Determining the Best Solution

Straightening teeth has become more efficient and more comfortable over the years. While some malocclusion cases still require time-tested metal braces, many situations allow for faster and less invasive methods. Even metal braces have gone through changes that make them more aesthetically appealing to the eye.

There are also different techniques for moving teeth through bone faster, straightening slightly crooked teeth, and addressing the underlying issues that caused the misalignment in the first place. A thorough evaluation is required to determine the best method for effective and lasting results.

Clear aligners such as Invisalign are popular due to their low profile and the fact that the diet is not compromised during treatment. Teens can enjoy pizza, popcorn, and caramel apples with their friends. Older adults can have their teeth straightened discreetly without the concern of showing metal bands and brackets when smiling. Unfortunately, this method for correcting misalignment is not optimal in all situations.

Do-it-yourself kits are useful for many things. Straightening your teeth is not one of them. Some projects, such as malocclusion, need to be handled by professionals for effective and safe results. You can contact us to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Halim and get more information about straightening teeth.

Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!
Dr. Nishan Halim

Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in a comprehensive approach to dental care in his Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. When treatment plans include specialty work, he coordinates every step with the practitioners you choose from his referral network. Contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment.


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