The bite is a complex system that includes teeth, gums, jaws, and facial muscles. A healthy bite has not just aesthetic impact but also health benefits, said orthodontist Sam Levine of Levine Orthodontics in Lexington. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to tooth decay, wearing of tooth enamel, and even headaches and jaw joint pain.
As braces become more comfortable to wear and better at repositioning teeth, Levine, 37, is seeing patients from ages 7 to 70, as more adults opt for orthodontic treatment. Rather than the metal-mouth look of a generation ago, new materials and other technological advances have made smaller, less obtrusive braces available.