Most of the time, traditional braces are worn on both arches of teeth to correct any alignment issues. However, if one row of teeth is relatively straight, you may wonder if you can have the treatment done with just a single arch to save time and money. Could one-row braces be the right choice for your smile? Here’s what your orthodontist has to say.
Why Single Arch Braces Aren’t Recommended
It is in fact possible to only wear braces on the upper or lower teeth. However, this is an uncommon treatment, and most orthodontists do not recommend it unless there’s a very good reason for it. That’s because only adjusting one row of teeth can have unintended consequences.
Straightening your smile with braces means moving your teeth, which consequently changes your bite. For example, if you only have the bottom row of teeth straightened, it may not meet properly with the upper row when you close your mouth. A misaligned bite can make chewing more difficult and leave the teeth more susceptible to injury. In other words, only adjusting one row of teeth may let you correct one orthodontic issue only to lead to an even worse one.
Why You Should Choose Full-Mouth Braces Instead
Getting braces on both arches makes it easier for your orthodontist to ensure that all of your teeth will line up correctly by the end of the treatment. A single row of braces means that they have no control over the positions of the teeth in the opposite arch; full mouth braces may be more costly in comparison, but it’s typically worth it to make sure that your entire smile is properly aligned.
Furthermore, some types of corrections are only possible with full-mouth braces. For example, if you have a severe overbite, rubber bands can be fitted to the top and bottom rows of braces to slowly shift the jawline into its proper position. With one-row braces, this isn’t an option.
Remember: Braces are Not Just for Improving Appearances
It’s important to keep in mind that wearing braces isn’t just about aesthetics. Even if one row of teeth doesn’t look like it’s crooked, it might still have positioning problems that could eventually have an impact on your oral health. Your orthodontist needs to consider what’s best for your entire mouth when planning your orthodontic treatment, and more often than not that will involve full-mouth braces.
Are you ready to get the straighter smile you deserve? Reach out to your orthodontist today to schedule a consultation. Feel free to ask any questions you might have about the process and the benefits of getting braces for both rows of teeth.
About the Author
Dr. Alex J. Johnson has over 30 years of experience in helping children and adults enjoy straighter, healthier smiles. He earned his Orthodontic Certificate at Washington University, and he has completed continuing education with prestigious organizations like the Pankey Institute. At his Palm Harbor practice, he offers traditional braces as a means to correct bite problems and other issues. To schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (727) 786-7550.