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Bracing Life – The Importance of a Smile

One of the most commonly asked questions of an orthodontist is “Does my child need braces?” This brings up a lot of possible responses, which is the topic of this month’s column – need vs. benefit.

A “need” is defined as something that is required because it is essential or very important. A “benefit” on the other hand is something that produces helpful results or promotes well-being. Now, we all know of someone, (Grandpa, Grandma, Great Aunt or Uncle) who seems to function perfectly well with no teeth. So, does anyone really need straight teeth or teeth at all? Hopefully your answer to that question is a resounding YES!

We now live in a world where a premium is placed on health and beauty. Orthodontic treatment via braces or aligners can deliver both, in a relatively short period of time and at a reasonable cost, where the benefits quite often last a lifetime. Let’s now look at the importance of both the health and beauty of a straight smile.

Anyone who has ever had a toothache, jaw ache, or other dental problem can attest to the way quality of life is diminished. If chewing is uncomfortable or downright painful one of the great joys and necessities of life is compromised – eating! Crooked teeth increase the likelihood of chewing problems, excessive and premature wear on teeth that can lead to sensitivity to hot and cold, and contribute to speech issues. All bite problems or malocclusions will ultimately take their toll on teeth leading to more future dental work (and who doesn’t love frequent visits to their family dentist!), discomfort and costs. Orthodontic treatment directly minimizes these risks.

Rightly or wrongly our society highly values beauty. A gorgeous smile is right near the top of the list of what determines beauty. This may sound shallow at first however studies have shown that a beautiful smile enhances self-esteem and self- confidence. These are critical factors to take into account especially when considering the formative years in children and teens. Anything we can do to help our kids develop more self-assurance and confidence is a tremendous gift that we can give them. Orthodontic treatment delivers on that.

So, when you wonder if your child “needs” braces, take the above benefits into account. We all want the next generation to flourish in all regards. Healthy and beautiful!

Doctors Hill and Gross have the experience to help craft beautiful smiles for all manner of patients, both children and adults.


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