Embracing Orthodontics for a Confident Smile

From family heritage to early intervention, exploring the journey to dental health

being examined by the dentist (photo by author)

Over the weekend, I scheduled a follow-up appointment with the dentist, but it wasn’t for me — it was for my 9-year-old daughter, Anna.

Just last month, after heeding the dentist’s advice, my wife and I made the decision to start orthodontic treatment for Anna, hoping to guide her teeth towards a healthy direction.

Initially, I was conflicted about this decision, worrying whether a child of her age could endure the discomfort of orthodontic procedures. But more concerning to me was the thought that delaying correction might lead to worsening conditions or greater costs during her teenage years.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

My wife and I met in 2005 while we were still in high school. When I first met her, I noticed she was undergoing orthodontic treatment. She seemed hesitant to smile fully, perhaps fearing the visibility of her braces. I also had some misalignment issues with my front teeth, but due to financial constraints at the time, I couldn’t undergo treatment.

Comparing to our parents, who both had normal teeth, my wife and I had dental issues.

So, I began to consciously observe this situation. In the following days, whenever I learned that our friends also had dental issues requiring correction, I would casually inquire whether their parents had similar problems.

The answers confirmed my suspicions.

It seemed that our parents’ generation didn’t have such dental problems. From a medical standpoint, their teeth had enough space during growth and development, allowing each tooth to grow in the right position.

It appeared that the need for orthodontic correction started with our generation. Perhaps it was because orthodontic technology matured during our time and became more visible, or maybe our dental arches were more crowded, leaving insufficient space for teeth to grow.

This could be related to our generation’s dietary habits. My mom told me that when she was young, our family faced financial difficulties and couldn’t afford meat for every meal.

Sometimes, they had to chew meat bones to avoid wasting food. They often ate hard-to-chew foods like sugarcane. This helped exercise their dental arches and provided enough space for teeth to grow.

Of course, this is just my speculation and hasn’t been confirmed by a professional dentist. But I don’t need a geneticist to tell me that this seemingly unhealthy dental development might be hereditary.

Photo by Joshua Clay on Unsplash

Both of my kids have similar problems, although Anna’s case is slightly more pronounced. Therefore, after consulting with the dentist, we decided to proceed with orthodontic treatment.

The main reason is that the earlier correction is done, the less it costs. Here, the cost doesn’t refer to the financial expense but rather the space needed.

In my wife’s plan, some teeth need to be extracted to make room for correction. Since Anna’s dental arch is still developing, there’s no need to extract teeth for space at this stage.

After a month of correction, some of Anna’s oddly growing teeth have been effectively improved, but this is just the beginning. I hope that as the corrective measures continue, Anna’s smile can become more confident. While I believe that a smile should come from within.

But, who doesn’t want to have a set of neat and beautiful teeth?

So, how healthy are your teeth?

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash
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