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Why You Need to Correct Both Arches When Straightening Teeth

by Dr. Amer Hussain, on Jan 8, 2020 10:45:00 AM

You want to correct some orthodontic issues, whether that is crowded teeth or maybe they’re just a little crooked. That’s great! Making the decision to straighten your teeth is a fantastic one and we’re happy to see you take it. 

You only want to make changes on either your upper or lower arch. Sound simple enough right? But your orthodontist advises you that you’ll have to work with both arches for your treatment. 

Why is this?

Let’s go through why you need to work with both arches even if your only correcting one.

Why do I have to work with both arches?
Think of your mouth as a married couple; if there’s a problem in the relationship, BOTH people need to work to fix it. If only one does and the other doesn’t, chances are it’ll work for a little but won’t be permanent (Note: we are not relationship advisors, this is just a metaphor). 

When fixing anything with your teeth whether that’s crowding, crookedness or spaces, you’re changing your bite. When we say bite, we’re referring to the way your upper and lower jaw come together when your mouth is closed. 

When aligning your teeth it’s important to make sure that bite is correct. Now let’s say you want to correct teeth on your lower jaw, if you don’t also treat the upper arch your could negatively impact your bite. 

Not only can ignoring one of the arches affect your bite, it can also cause a dental relapse.


Okay, so even if I’m fixing spacing do I still have to do both?
Yes. You’ll have to do both. The arches need to be symmetrical to ensure a good bite, so even if your gap is on your upper teeth, you may have to adjust the bottom as well. 

The goal with straightening your teeth is to produce a healthy, straight smile for a long time. 

In conclusion..
Both arches will need to be adjusted if you’re going to straighten your teeth. The whole point in straightening your smile is to have it for a long time, not just a good time.  Regardless if you’re treating crowded teeth, crooked teeth or spaces in your teeth, both arches will need to work together to get the end result you want. 


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