Saturday, January 18, 2014

Braces, Orthodontics, Straight Teeth, Why? Crystal Lake Dentist

Why do so many people have crooked teeth?

straight teeth look great
Our ancient ancestors faced a different set of conditions which helped fit the size of their jaws to the size of the teeth. The reason is due to their diet. They did not have the luxury of highly processed vitamin and calorie enriched foods. Infants had to subsist on mother's milk instead of processed infant formulas with high calories and vitamin content. Children and adults also had to subsist on lower calorie harder foods that took much more effort to chew and extract nutrients. The result was that the jaws grew larger and the teeth would fit together perfectly. The result of our modern diet  and child rearing behavior is that children's jaws will not grow to their full potential... thus the teeth do not have room to fit into the smaller jaws and become crowded. Consequently 80% of the population raised on a modern highly processed, high calorie, and vitamin enriched diet will have crooked teeth.

OK so we will have crooked teeth, what is the big deal?

The big deal is twofold:
·        First as our jaws do not develop completely and mid face is pushed back. This smaller space means our airway does not develop fully. This can lead to many issues related to Sleep Apnea, enlarged tonsils, allergies, ear infections, and a multitude of related conditions including ADHD in a child. As the child becomes order Sleep Apnea can bring on many other serious conditions as well including heart disease, diabetes, stroke obesity, daytime drowsiness and other systemic inflammatory conditions.
·         Second is the problem that crooked teeth inherently affects to the longevity of the teeth. Crooked teeth will wear unevenly, lead to more tooth decay and periodontal disease, premature loss of teeth and extensive dental treatment like gum surgery, fillings crowns root canals, extractions, etc. These treatments are expensive, time consuming and possibly uncomfortable. Add to that the cost of medical treatment and the possibility of shortening of a person's life, and you quickly see that it is a big deal. 

OK so what are you recommending that we eat like our ancestors?

cave men ate raw foods

Well that would do the job, though it would be hard to do today. Instead I am recommending children be evaluated very early to get their growth on track before the adult teeth are in. Interceptive orthodontics can alter growth with easy to use removable appliances. The teeth and jaws can be aligned and growth encouraged so often no further orthodontic care is needed, or if it is needed, it will be minimal. The health benefits of interceptive orthodontics cannot be over emphasized. The other benefit may be that the full cost of treatment is lower.
interceptive orthodontic appliances
interceptive orthodontics

Can Adults as well can benefit from straighter teeth?

Absolutely they can. Teeth wearing excessively, gums receding, gum disease, and chipping, breaking cavities are all increased with crooked teeth. When the teeth are aligned well they will wear evenly, look better and stay healthier. The gum tissue will be healthier as the teeth are easier to clean which also means less cavities. Why would you not want to have this?

What other benefits would I have from straight teeth?

The most obvious one is a beautiful smile, and a better self-image. Your smile is one of your most important assets.

Many people don't want that "Braces Look", what are the options?


Invisalign has come a long way and continues to develop as the people's choice for orthodontics for adults and increasingly for teens. The clear aligners are easy to wear and the teeth are easy to clean. Clear braces and tooth colored orthodontic wires can also be used in some cases as well.
clear braces

Where can I find out more about interceptive orthodontics and adult braces?

beautiful healthy smiles for the entire family

We can help you determine the best choice for each and every family member. We have been treating adults and children for over 30 years. Most orthodontic offices wait until a child becomes a teenager where 90% of the growth has already taken place and the treatment options are limited. We recommend treating as early as possible to take advantage of the growth.

Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Lifetime Dentistry, braces, Invisalign and interceptive orthodontics and root Canal Treatment at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Your comments are welcome


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About Me

My photo
Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.