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Braces for the young and the old

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Gone are the days when braces were for the “rich kids”. Today they are not only affordable and readily available, but they are for so much more than fixing a crooked smile.

The most important function of your teeth is chewing and for your mouth to do this efficiently, all your teeth need to bite together in what we call an ideal occlusion where the cusps (hills) of your teeth fit into the grooves (valleys) of the opposing teeth. {{more}}

Some people do not have this ideal occlusion, whether it is because of crowded or twisted teeth, early loss of baby or adult teeth, thumb or tongue sucking habits to name a few. Whatever the cause, these malocclusions need to be corrected so as to prevent future problems. These problems include periodontal disease or caries due to inefficient cleaning of crowded or crooked teeth, changes in facial features, as the alignment of your teeth shapes your mouth, or difficulty chewing on both sides of the mouth.

It is often said that braces are for the young. But if these malocclusions show up at an older age or if finances are more available as you get older, or whatever the reason, don’t let your age stop you. The only draw back for the older folks would be the length of time that they may have to wear the braces, over the years the bone would have got denser and the teeth may take a little longer to move.

So whatever your age or stage in life, braces not only improve your smile but also more importantly correct and prevent functional problems. Essentially it is your health and ability to eat properly that are more important than vanity.

• Dr France is a Dental Surgeon and practices at Dental Care Dental Clinic. She can be reached at [email protected] or 456-2125.

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