If you’re looking into orthodontic treatments, you probably want the perfect smile. But what does perfect teeth alignment even mean? Everyone’s teeth are different, but alignment depends on maintaining a healthy bite and a smile free from crowding, gaps, and other issues.
Continue reading to learn how perfect alignment is defined and why it is considered ideal. When you look at your new smile, you’ll want to know not only that it looks great but that it’s the healthiest it can be.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
Why is Perfect Alignment Important?
Many people seek orthodontic treatment for cosmetic reasons, but misaligned teeth can cause many health issues. The reasons orthodontists pursue perfect alignment in their patients, other than giving them a boost in confidence, include:
Relieving pain – Misaligned teeth can cause uneven pressure in your mouth, making every bite a strain on certain ligaments and teeth. This can lead to chronic jaw strain, pain in the muscles of your face, and could even be the source of your persistent headaches.
Improving speech – Many speech impediments are caused by misaligned teeth, especially if the misalignment was present during early childhood development.
Healthier teeth – Teeth endure wear and tear every day, but an uneven bite can cause uneven wear and tear, causing some teeth to become weaker. These stresses on individual teeth can even cause tooth cracks later in life. Misaligned teeth are also more difficult to clean, which encourages a build-up of plaque and eventual tooth decay.
What Does Perfect Alignment Look Like?
Perfect alignment depends on many physical oral structures, including the spacing between your teeth, the size of your jaw, and the position of your bite. There are many reasons that teeth can become crowded, develop gaps, or turn inwards. These include not only your physical tooth and jaw size but also childhood habits like thumb-sucking, a mouth injury, and genetics. A jaw that is too small, for instance, can cause teeth to come in crowded.
Though perfect alignment will be slightly different for everyone, there are some markers that can be used to get an idea of how your teeth stack up to the standard.
How to Measure Alignment
The first marker is the top two front teeth, which should be right in the middle of your nose if you imagine a line from the middle of the two teeth to your forehead.
Another landmark is on the side of your teeth, where the front edge of your first molar on top should be lined up with the middle of the first molar on the bottom. Dentists call this line the “class 1 molar relationship” and it is often used to visually assess a patient’s alignment.
Another important relationship is in the canines, which should line up like these molars, with the front edge of the first on top aligned with the middle of the first on the bottom.
In addition to where teeth are located, how they line up is equally important for perfect alignment. The teeth on the upper row should overlap the lower row, closer to your lips. Otherwise, bite issues could be present such as an underbite or crossbite.
In the front, your bite should have both jaws nearly even, with the lower a few millimeters behind the upper. The upper teeth should be over the bottom, which is called “overjet” and should not be confused with “overbite,” which is when the upper teeth jet out too far. The reverse problem, where the bottom teeth are in front of the top, is called an underbite.
How to Achieve Perfect Alignment
Many treatments exist to bring your teeth closer to perfect alignment, making your bite healthier and your teeth straighter. The first line of defense is braces, which can be metal, ceramic, lingual, or even Invisalign to give you options when selecting the treatment that’s right for you.
In some cases, bite problems can be caused by physical abnormalities that require surgery, especially if the patient is older. Consult with an orthodontist about your alignment issues to find the treatment options that are right for you.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.