It’s not unusual for adults and children to request braces on top teeth only. It makes sense: if you’re happy with the way your bottom teeth look, or couldn’t be bothered to straighten them since they’re not as visible, it’s easier to just focus on the top teeth, right?
Well, it is a little more complicated than that and several factors come into play with just treating one row of teeth.
Braces On Top Teeth Only
Depending on what your issues are, you can get braces on just your upper teeth. This treatment is called single arch orthodontic treatment.
Some orthodontists will put braces on just the top teeth before concentrating on your bottom teeth. When that happens, the orthodontist carefully assesses your bite and the relationship between your top and bottom teeth, since changing just one set of teeth can affect your bite.
Factors to Consider
Your smile doesn’t just depend on the position of your teeth. Your bite is a complicated relationship that also involves your jaws. If your jaws aren’t balanced, that can affect how your teeth fit together (your bite).
There may be times when a single arch treatment leaves you with a worse bite. It’s important to achieve an even bite to help distribute even forces on your teeth and prevent wearing and trauma.
Another thing to consider is the way your teeth move. For instance, crowded teeth tend to move forward when straightened whereas teeth with spaces between them move backward. So, while getting braces on top teeth only will straighten those top teeth, your bite will be off. If your top teeth are crowded, for example, addressing just the upper teeth can cause your overbite to grow larger.
In the case of both rows of teeth needing treatment, it is also worth considering the fact that as we age, we show more and more of our bottom teeth! Straightening just the top of aesthetics won’t cut it in the long-term (usually).
What to Expect
If you do opt for getting braces on top teeth only, you’ll need to stick to soft, easy to eat foods until the initial discomfort goes away. You will also be expected to continue practicing good oral hygiene and visit your orthodontist regularly for check-ups and adjustments. And if you are travelling with braces, make sure you are prepared to care for them.
While some people do opt for braces on their upper teeth only, in the majority of cases it will be better to address your bite as a whole to create a beautiful, symmetrical smile. Your own situation is unique. A full assessment with an orthodontist will let you know if braces for top teeth only could be an option for you.
To learn more, talk to Fine Orthodontics today about the perfect treatment for your smile.