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What’s the Deal with Getting Top or Bottom Braces ONLY?

Aug 30, 2023Orthodontic Treatment, Pediatric Dentistry

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Lots of adults are interested in transforming their smile, and many have the thought – “I have crooked bottom teeth, but my top ones are fine. Can I save money by getting single-row braces?” Whether it’s a question of cost or fixing only the teeth you show off the most (that’s the upper teeth!), single-arch braces are one solution we keep hearing about at the Great Smiles offices.

While this is a good thought, we’re here to tell you that partial braces might not be your best bet. But don’t worry – we’re also breaking down the reasons and other options for getting those chompers in proper alignment.

Yes, You Can Get Single-Arch Treatment…But Should You?

Let’s start by answering the big question: Can you get braces on just your top or bottom teeth? Absolutely. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. This approach, known as single-arch treatment, can lead to many complications. While it might seem like an easy fix for uneven teeth, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, and we don’t recommend it for most patients.

Patients often consider single-arch orthodontic treatment for several reasons when faced with misaligned bite problems, crowded top teeth, or a single crooked tooth. Let’s check it out:

  • If your top and bottom teeth only need a slight adjustment to straighten the dental arch, braces on both might seem overkill. Some patients would prefer one-arch orthodontic treatment to treat just the bottom row of teeth or the front teeth for aesthetic purposes.
  • Some people think that getting braces on only your lower jaw or just your top teeth will help save money since you aren’t fitting braces to both dental arches.
  • Some adults aren’t concerned about ensuring that both top and bottom rows have perfect teeth. Since your lower teeth are often hidden when you smile, you might avoid braces on your bottom teeth since they won’t be seen as much.

The best orthodontic treatment involves top braces and bottom braces. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are some issues you might see if you fix your bite alignment on just your bottom teeth or top teeth.

You Might Make Your Bite Worse

One significant risk of using only one-arch treatment is that it can worsen your bite. If you use bottom teeth braces or top teeth braces, your healthy smile will only go halfway.

This is the scenario when patients get braces on bottom teeth only: your bottom teeth are all lined up, but your top teeth are still doing their own thing. Your top teeth and bottom arch have a complex relationship, and correcting one half means the opposing arch won’t have shifted to align with your new jaw placement.

Those misaligned teeth can lead to a bad bite (called a malocclusion), which can cause jaw pain, difficulty chewing, and even speech issues. And let’s face it, nobody wants that!

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You Probably Won’t End Up Saving Money

You might be thinking, “Well, if I’m getting only bottom braces, surely I’ll save half the money, right?” Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The cost of metal braces isn’t just about the brackets and wires; it’s also about the expertise and time of your orthodontist. So, whether you’re aligning one arch or two, you’ll still need the same attention from your orthodontist. Ultimately, single arch treatment will save you little (if any) money.

You’ll Probably Be Back for Round Two

We often see that patients who initially opt to straighten teeth with single-arch treatment will return to fix their other arch. (And remember that the most attractive smile matches!)

When you get braces, you aren’t just treated for cosmetic purposes. You’re improving the health and function of your smile, too. When you skimp on orthodontics, you’ll likely create more problems down the road – ones requiring more care. So, save yourself the extra trips and get both arches treated simultaneously.

The Clear Solution for Troublesome Top Teeth & More

If your main concern is how braces will look, don’t worry! We have some invisible heroes in orthodontics: Invisalign clear aligners and clear braces. These options offer the same great results as traditional braces but with a much more discreet appearance. So, you can work on that award-winning smile without anyone even noticing!

Fixing Your Top & Bottom Teeth with Great Smiles Orthodontics

While getting braces on just your top or bottom teeth might seem like a quick fix, there are better paths to that perfect smile. At Great Smiles Orthodontics, we’re all about creating beautiful, healthy smiles that last a lifetime. Remember, every smile is unique and deserves a personalized plan. So, let’s work together to find the best solution for your Great Smile!

Positive Communication

Choose a children’s dental practice near you where you and your child feel comfortable. You want good, effective communication and education. Look for a pediatric dentist who takes the time to explain procedures in a child-friendly manner, addressing any concerns or questions your child may have. 

Final Thoughts on Finding a Pediatric Dentist Near You

Friendly staff and dentists who are skilled in interacting with children can help alleviate anxiety and create a positive dental experience for you and your child. Have a conversation with the staff when you call or ask to have a quick conversation with one of the pediatric dentists before you make an appointment.

Or, if you go and something does not fit about the experience– the service, the location near you, the atmosphere– then switch to a different dentist for your kids.

By prioritizing your child’s comfort, communication, and comprehensive care, you can ensure that they receive the best possible dental experience and lay the foundation for a lifetime of oral health.