Braces are used to move teeth into proper alignment and to correct bite issues. It is rare for teeth to come in perfectly straight, so many people require some sort of orthodontic treatment. One of the most common orthodontic issues is crowding, meaning there isn’t enough room in the mouth for the teeth to come in straight. Crowded teeth tend to overlap each other with some teeth in front and others behind.
Crowding occurs more commonly on the bottom row of teeth, which incites the question: Can you get braces on just your bottom teeth? The short answer is Yes, you can. However, you should see an orthodontist for a thorough bite analysis because it is not always recommended or even possible.
It is Best to Get Braces on All of Your Teeth at Once
While it is possible to get braces on just your bottom teeth, it is not very common. There are a variety of reasons for that, including:
- Top and Bottom Teeth Need to Meet Properly. Straightening out the bottom teeth can cause them to meet differently with the top teeth. If the problem is crowding, then straightening the teeth will likely push the entire bottom row of teeth outward in order to make room for all the teeth to be side by side. This could cause the bottom teeth to clash with the top or even lead to an underbite. When braces are on the top teeth too, adjustments can be made to ensure both rows of teeth fit together properly.
- Bottom Braces Alone Can’t Correct Bite Issues. Another purpose of braces besides teeth alignment is bite correction. It can be problematic if the top row of teeth goes too far over the bottom row when you bite down, called an overbite. Simply fixing the bottom row of teeth will not usually correct an overbite. Getting braces on just the bottom teeth also makes it difficult to treat an underbite, where the top teeth meet behind the bottom teeth when the jaw is closed. Other bite problems include an open bite (the front teeth don’t meet at all when the back teeth are touching) and a cross bite (some of the top teeth go behind the bottom teeth and others go in front when you bite down), both of which would be hard to correct with just bottom braces. Because bite issues affect both jaws, it is important to get braces on both to make the proper adjustments.
- Top Teeth Are More Visible. If your main goal for getting braces is cosmetic, the top row of teeth are more visible than the bottom, meaning it would be in your best interest to correct the top teeth in order to improve appearances. If you or your child are self conscious about how metal braces will look on the top front teeth, consider less visible options such as Invisalign. Invisalign straightens the teeth using clear plastic aligners that fit over the teeth and are barely noticeable. This is a much more effective solution than just getting braces on the bottom row of teeth.
Customize Your Treatment
While it may be beneficial to treat all of your teeth at once, ultimately this is your treatment and it is up to you how you wish to do it. Getting braces on just the bottom teeth does have some benefits from saving money to a more subtle-looking appearance. We listen to your wants and needs and use our expertise to make a recommendation based on the corrections you need and the treatment you want.
Andover Orthodontics Provides a Wide Range of Treatment Options
No patient is exactly like another. At Andover Orthodontics we understand that you will have different wants and needs from your orthodontic treatment than other patients. We do our best to customize your treatment, offering a range of options to help you achieve your goals. We provide many orthodontic treatment types from traditional metal braces to Invisalign.