Why do I need top AND bottom braces or Invisalign? That is a frequent question we receive during our free consultations because patients want to know if they have to have orthodontic appliances on both arches. Sometimes a patient will only want to fix a crooked top canine, twisted lower incisors, or a gap somewhere in their mouth. However, we almost never can treat just the top or the bottom teeth orthodontically without treating the other.
The reason we must treat your top and bottom teeth together is because we need to align them so that they fit together well and so that your bite is functional. If we try to close a gap between the front teeth and we don’t have any space between the top and bottom teeth because the bottom teeth touch the back of the top teeth, we won’t be able to close that gap. However, if we use braces or Invisalign on both top and bottom, we can bring the bottom teeth back first which will then allow us to close that gap between the top teeth!
Similarly, if we need to make space, for example, for blocked out canines on top (canines that are sitting too high and sticking out), and we only used braces on top, we would open space and all of the top teeth would be pushed forward, causing you to have very flared teeth. However, if we also include the bottom teeth in our orthodontic treatment plan, we can use rubber bands to help minimize the flaring and ensure your bite stays stable.
Lastly, if we need to fix an overbite or overjet (horizontal overlap between the top and bottom teeth, or “buck teeth”), we need to be able to use rubber bands / elastics. Those are only an option if we have appliances on the top and bottom teeth.
If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment, your options, or how we align teeth and bites, please let us know in the comments below! You can also reach out via phone/text at 704-782-5146, or send us a message on TikTok or Instagram @bestorthonc.