7 Health Benefits of Braces
Besides Straight Teeth, What are the Benefits of Braces?
Everyone looks forward to having straight teeth after their orthodontic treatment is complete. It is naturally exciting to enjoy taking pride in your appearance. It is also important to know that having straight teeth has many other benefits as well. In addition to improving the aesthetics of your smile, the alignment of your teeth impacts several aspects of your physical and emotional health. As you explore the many options you have regarding your orthodontic treatment, check out these ways braces will improve your overall life satisfaction.
Reduce the Incidence of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
The problem with having misaligned teeth goes further than just the surface appearance. When your teeth are crowded or crooked, it creates tight spaces between your teeth that you may hear your orthodontist refer to as food traps. This is because food debris quickly collects in these spaces. It is less likely to be swished out when you swallow water or brush your teeth. Over time, this debris turns into plaque and places you at risk for cavities. Even if you try to have impeccable oral hygiene.
These tight spaces also make flossing difficult. Some people give up on the habit altogether after getting floss stuck in these crevices. If you cannot get floss up to your gum line, then it places you at risk for gum disease. Following your orthodontic treatment, you will find that brushing and flossing your teeth is more effective. Thus your dental exams and cleanings will be much more efficient.
Stop Bone Erosion
The placement of your teeth affects the amount of pressure that is placed upon your jaw bone as you speak and chew. This pressure is important for stimulating bone growth that holds your teeth in place. Over time, misaligned teeth can cause too much force to come down on certain teeth as you eat, which can slowly erode the bone. It can also cause there to be not enough pressure on certain areas that leads to a lack of stimulation. For this reason, professional care is important to make sure that your braces move your teeth into the proper position for creating the right amount of pressure to keep your jaw bones healthy.
Many people do not realize that speech is affected by more than just their voice. As you speak, your tongue’s movement against the top of your mouth and teeth helps to form the sounds that come out. This is why young children always have that adorable struggle with “s” sounds after losing their top front teeth. If your teeth lie backward in your mouth or push too far forward, you may develop a lisp or other speech problems. In fact, many speech therapists assess children’s mouths and refer families for orthodontic treatment. This they would do when an obvious problem with the teeth appears to be causing problems with how a child talks. Moving these teeth into alignment often improves speech issues quickly after treatment is finished.
Encourage Better Nutrition With Proper Digestion
Trying to eat with severely misaligned teeth is difficult at best. When your teeth do not fit together properly, it impacts how well you can chew. Unfortunately, your digestive system begins in your mouth since thoroughly chewing your food helps your body to break it down into easily-digestible particles that allow your body to extract the most vitamins and nutrients from each meal. When you cannot chew your food properly, the effects of malnutrition such as anemia become more likely. You may also suffer from stomachaches and other types of digestive distress as your body struggles to break down large chunks of food. By getting your teeth into proper alignment, you can reduce problems that you have experienced in the past with digestion and eating.
Prevent Dental Injuries
Few things are as painful as a broken tooth, and chipped teeth can add to your discomfort with your smile. Sadly, issues such as protruding front teeth make dental trauma more likely to occur in an accident. It is also common for people with improperly aligned teeth to accidentally bite their cheeks and tongues while eating and talking. While wearing mouth guards is an absolute must for anyone who plays contact sports, getting teeth into their proper places is another step you can take to protect yourself from injury during even minor accidents.
Correct Jaw Pain and Disorders
Your jaw joints may try to self-correct errors in how your teeth fit together. Over time, this can lead to serious jaw disorders that cause symptoms that disrupt your life. For example, chronic headaches, jaw popping, and pain can all be signs that your joints are attempting to make up for the misalignment in your teeth. When this is not corrected, it can lead to long-term problems that affect your comfort. Make sure you talk to your orthodontic team about any jaw symptoms you currently have. Then they can adjust your teeth in the best way to improve these symptoms after treatment.
Eliminate Harmful Habits
Although it is more common in children, even adults adopt bad habits. These are an attempt to alleviate the odd sense of pressure that having misaligned teeth can create. Chewing on pencils, thumb sucking and biting your lips are all habits that may be alleviated after you get your braces off. As a parent, it is also great to have an orthodontic team back you up regarding the reasons to avoid sticky, sugary treats. This can pay off big when it comes to helping your older child or teen learn about how nutrition affects their oral health.
Starting orthodontic treatment today offers benefits that last a lifetime. While you may be focusing on the beautiful smile awaiting you after treatment, your orthodontic team knows that the rewards go far deeper than just having straight teeth. At Nease and Higginbotham Orthodontics, our orthodontist teams are always ready to explain the full rewards of your treatment during your initial consultation so give us a call today so we can get you started on enjoying the improvements that come with choosing to straighten your smile.
7 Health Benefits of Braces