If you have some crooked teeth, but they don't look that bad to you, then you may not have had braces when you were a child. While straight teeth aren't a priority for you as an adult either, your dentist may disagree. Why is your dentist recommending that you wear adult braces?
Do You Have a Lot of Fillings?
If you have had some recurring problems with tooth decay on or around your crooked teeth, then your dentist will be keen to prevent future problems. Even if you look after your teeth religiously, it's hard to clean crooked teeth as effectively as it is to clean straight ones.
When teeth are straight, you can clean all their surfaces relatively easily – your toothbrush can access all areas and you won't have a problem getting floss between your teeth. However, crooked teeth are harder to clean thoroughly. For example, if your teeth overlap, then parts of one tooth may cover areas of another, making them inaccessible to your toothbrush. Plus, you may not be able to floss between overlapping teeth at all.
In this instance, your dentist may simply think that straightening your teeth reduces the chances that you'll develop future problems with tooth decay.
Are You Showing Signs of Gum Disease?
A well as increasing the chances of tooth decay, crooked teeth can also contribute to gum disease. If you can't clean some parts of your teeth because they aren't straight, then you may also have problems keeping your gums in good shape around these teeth.
If you can't keep things really clean, then plaque may collect in your mouth, and its bacteria may start to attack your gums. If your dentist has noticed early signs of gum problems, such as swelling, redness, bleeding or sensitivity, then they will want to sort out this immediate problem and then find ways to stop it happening again or getting worse.
If your dentist can't find another reason for your gum problems apart from your crooked teeth, then they may be recommending braces to protect your gums.
If you, or your dentist, can't come up with ways to clean around your crooked teeth and fix repeated decay or gum disease problems, then consider taking your dentist's advice about having your teeth straightened. To learn more about the types of adult braces you can choose from and their treatment timescales, talk to your dentist.