What Are the Benefits of Braces besides Straight Teeth?
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Dr. Young Orthodontics of Monmouth & Ocean County wants his patients to know all of the benefits that come with braces
Did you know there are even greater benefits to wearing braces than just having straight teeth? Apart from the aesthetic benefits of braces, there are also a number of health benefits that braces patients will experience. In many cases, patients with orthodontic issues may not be aware of the dangers associated with improper or misaligned teeth. It is true that orthodontic braces can give you a beautiful smile.
Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Your teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between when they are crooked or crowded. This can make it very difficult to brush and floss effectively, which allows bacteria and plaque to build up, and will eventually lead to tooth decay and gum disease. With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, and allow for more effective brushing. The increased risk of oral disease such as periodontitis and gum disease is one of the primary concerns of orthodontic issues. Patients with severely crooked or misaligned teeth naturally have crevices that are not experienced by individuals with straight teeth. These crevices essentially act as hiding places for food buildup and bacteria. These crevices make it more difficult for patients to achieve the required level of dental hygiene needed to prevent health issues from developing. If patients fail to maintain proper oral hygiene, the food buildup and bacteria can easily develop into plaque, tartar, cavities, and eventually disease. Correcting the teeth with the use of braces can eliminate these hard-to-reach areas, thus decreasing the overall risk for oral disease. When braces correct the spacing between teeth, and get rid of the tight spaces, patients are able to brush and floss more effectively and not miss essential areas of the mouth.
Apart from just oral health, having straight teeth can also improve an individual’s overall health. When a patient’s jaws do not align properly, a misaligned bite occurs. As a result, the patient may experience bite issues that can cause unusual and hazardous stress to be placed on certain teeth and areas of the mouth. During eating and other everyday activities, this uneven distribution of pressure can cause strain on the jaws, muscles, and ligaments. Unusual stress on certain teeth may eventually cause them to weaken and become susceptible to chipping and breaking. This can lead to infection and the need for tooth extraction. Correcting the bite through the use of braces can help to prevent and reduce the risk of these issues, thus contributing to the overall health of the patient. Some patients experience issues such as protruding front teeth. This can be potentially hazardous, especially for individuals who are involved in activities such as sports that increase the risk of blunt force to the mouth. These patients experience a greater risk of chipping and breaking due to the positioning of the teeth. In order to avoid the risks associated with protruding front teeth, they definitely need to consider orthodontic treatment through braces.
Difficulties with Speech
Your teeth play an essential role in speech. When they are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, this affects your speaking patterns, which can cause embarrassment and frustration. Braces can adjust the positioning of the teeth to allow for clearer, more professional speech. They can shift problem teeth that may be causing embarrassing speech impediments. When an overbite or underbite gets adjusted, patients can pronounce certain words more distinctly.
Spaces between teeth may also cause whistling, which braces can fix by closing off the gaps. Word slurring can also be improved with the help of braces by realignment of the jaw or teeth, which opens room for your tongue to move with greater ease.
When there are no teeth to support, bone and gum tissues will begin to erode. This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces, or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. The bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth in their new alignment with braces, and braces also help in supporting the bones and tissues in your mouth. Braces move periodontal ligaments by stretching the connective tissues and nerves. Braces help prevent erosion of the gums, and will alleviate pressure from the jawbone by fixing a bad bite over time. The bones naturally rebuild once they are settled in their new spot.
Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth. If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should before it enters your stomach. Teeth aid with digestion when you can thoroughly chew your food. If your teeth are badly placed, braces can straighten them for optimal alignment for eating and chewing. Once you can chew properly with the help of braces, your food will be more easily and fully digested.