Why do teeth need to be removed for braces?

Commonly, when you get braces, the orthodontist will want some teeth taken out before the treatment is started. It can seem weird and harmful to remove perfectly healthy teeth.

Girl with sunglasses, tongue sticking out and braces on teeth

The reason for this is to create space for the teeth to move into.

In cases of crowding, where there isn't enough space in the jaws for all the teeth to be straight, removal of teeth is often required.

There are cases where teeth don't need to be removed, especially if you have a gappy smile. Taking teeth out in such cases would make things worse!

If you are really against having teeth removed, there are other options to create the space in the jaws for all the teeth. Jaw expansion is the process of widening or protruding your jaws. Another treatment is interproximal reduction. This involves thinning in between the teeth, essentially making your teeth go on a diet and becoming skinnier.

These other options are not always appropriate and you should discuss with your orthodontist what is the best way to go.

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