Health Benefits of Braces
Are you considering braces? Many individuals pursue orthodontics for one primary reason: a straighter smile. Braces can certainly achieve that goal. But did you know that braces also offer a number of health-related advantages? In addition to a more beautiful, confidence-inducing smile, you can also enjoy enhanced bite function and improved overall oral health. Because all elements of your smile work together for optimal oral health, you can become vulnerable to further dental issues when the teeth do not fit together the way they should. By moving the teeth into more desirable positions, a well-balanced bite is created, therefore making your teeth less susceptible to damage. Read on to explore some of the health benefits of braces.
Reduce the Development of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
When the teeth are in proper alignment, they are much easier to clean. If the teeth are crowded, crooked, or overlapped, plaque, debris, and bacteria are more likely to accumulate. It can be difficult to clean these areas effectively, even with the most diligent brushing and flossing. When these irritants are not actively removed from the teeth on a routine basis, it places you at a higher risk for cavities and periodontal disease. However, straightening your teeth makes these problematic areas much more accessible for easier cleaning.
Alleviate Jaw Problems
If there is an issue with your occlusion (the way your teeth fit together), the jaw joints may try to overcompensate for the problem. This can lead to an array of dental concerns, including TMJ disorder. Patients with this condition often experience chronic jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, tooth erosion, and more. However, by moving your teeth into alignment, the jaw joints can be seated more appropriately, therefore alleviating the pain associated with TMJ issues.
Reduce the Risk for Dental Trauma
Do you bite the inside of your cheek routinely? Does your tongue always seem to be in the way of your teeth when speaking or chewing? These issues could be due to malocclusion. These aren’t the only issues that misaligned teeth can cause. For example, you could also be more prone to chips or fractures if your teeth do not fit together properly. Additionally, if your front teeth are protruding, you are much more likely to sustain dental trauma during a fall or other type of accident. Braces can move the teeth into alignment, reducing the risk for dental damage and trauma.
Improve Digestion and Enhance Nutrition
One of the lesser known health benefits of braces is that they actually improve digestion by aligning your teeth. Individuals with severely misaligned teeth can have problems chewing efficiently. If left untreated, this can ultimately lead to side effects of malnutrition, such as anemia or chronic stomachaches. Straightening your teeth allows you to begin the digestive process effectively by thoroughly breaking down food particles.
Preserve Bone Density
Some pressure is necessary when you bite down, as it places gentle force on the teeth roots, which in turn, stimulates the jawbone to keep it healthy. However, if the teeth sustain too much force when you bite down, it can eventually lead to jawbone erosion. Therefore, a well-balanced bite is crucial for optimal oral health. Braces can strategically move your teeth into more appropriate positions, creating just the right amount of force necessary to keep your jawbone strong and healthy.
Improved Speech Patterns
In some cases, misaligned teeth can lead to speech issues. For example, the tongue presses against the teeth to form certain sounds. If your teeth are too far forward or slanted too far back, it can interfere with proper speech patterns. Individuals who develop these issues often seek help from a speech therapist. However, if the issues stem from the positions of the teeth, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to correct the problem effectively.
If you would like to learn more about the health benefits of braces, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lee at our Mesa, AZ dental practice. We can help you determine a personalized treatment plan. Call us today at 480-838-4185.