By Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer on May 10 2019
It’s no secret that the universal reason patients decide to get braces is because their smile is crooked - especially in today’s society, the general population desires straight teeth. It’s estimated that over 4 million people in Canada and the United States alone have braces.
What many patients don’t consider is all the other ways their lives will change once they’ve completed their orthodontic treatment. While your smile will certainly be straighter and you’ll be far more confident in showing it off, there are even more benefits that directly pertain to your oral health.
It’s not uncommon for certain health issues to be associated with misaligned or crooked teeth. When you have misaligned teeth, your teeth will often overlap, and create tight spaces that are difficult to reach. This presents a huge problem when it comes time to stay on top of your oral health, and have an effective brushing and flossing routine.
Here are all the positives of choosing the route of orthodontic treatment, and a look at all the headaches and dental trouble it may save you in the future!
Avoid Potential Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
As we said in the section above, misaligned teeth can create tight spaces that make proper cleaning merely a pipe dream. When these tight spaces are left untouched by a toothbrush and floss, it allows bacteria to build up in the crevices, and pave the way to more serious problems.
This can happen when food or other particles become lodged in these crevices, and are left to create even more bacteria in these areas. If the only person that can eradicate the bacteria and clean these areas is your dentist, this means it has ample time to build up between appointments, and become a problem.
When this bacteria is left to manifest, you begin to enter dangerous territory. This opens the door for more issues such as plaque build up, which can, if left untreated, turn into both tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay can cause the patient severe pain and sensitivity, especially when biting down - the latter can be indicative of a cavity, maybe even more than one.
Gum disease, on the other hand, is a little bit more serious. It begins innocently enough - bleeding gums, the recession of the gums. You may notice that your teeth appear to be longer than you previously recall.
While the symptoms are innocent at first, the worst case scenario is tooth loosening, potentially even tooth loss.
While orthodontic care can’t ensure immaculate oral health, it can certainly fix spacing and misalignment issues to lessen the chances of you having to deal with these problems in the future.
Ditch Difficulties with Speech
Surprisingly enough, your teeth do play a fairly substantial role in the way you speak. If teeth are extremely crooked or unevenly spaced, this can sometimes cause noticeable speech impediments.
These impediments can be embarrassing, while causing slurring, imperfect speech, even whistling depending on the situation. This can make everything from normal conversation to phone calls difficult and stressful.
Orthodontic treatment can help to close these gaps, improving pronunciation, helping to make speech more clear and concise, and eliminate any awkward or embarrassing speech mishaps.
Improve Your Chewing and Digestion
When patients are weighing the pros and cons of braces, it’s unlikely that digestion plays a huge factor in their decision - however, it really is one of the main benefits!
While you’re eating, and before you swallow the food, your teeth are working to partially digest the food before it reaches your actual digestive system. This process is at its best when teeth are very straight, but when they’re out of line or crooked, they may not break down your food as well. This could lead to digestive complications, depending on the severity of the issue.
With severe misalignment, eating can become a challenge. If your bite is particularly bad and biting down is a difficult task, chewing can become irritating, even painful. Your teeth and jaw can also become worn down and weaker from having to work so much overtime.
Braces will ensure you’re able to have confidence in eating all types of foods, ensure comfort while eating, and eliminate any pain while doing so.
With the help of braces to straighten your smile, you’ll be able to break down your food before it even reaches your stomach, making for better and healthier eating habits. Having straighter teeth and a new smile may even encourage you to be extra cautious when taking care of it, and improve your diet!
Say No to Bone Erosion (Bone Loss)
Bone and gum tissues have the important role of supporting your teeth. When there is nothing there to support, they will begin to erode and wear. Misaligned teeth are also very prone to instigating this erosion; with large spacing, gaps, and too much applied pressure on the jaw due to an incorrect or bad bite, the bones and tissues are more likely to experience wear.
With braces bringing new alignment to your teeth, the tissues and bones are less likely to experience this; this is for a few different reasons. Braces can:
- Helps to straighten the teeth to a more favorable place in the mouth
- Reduce pressure on the jawbone
- Fix a bad bite which, in turn, reduces pressure and alleviates stress on the jaw
- Move periodontal ligaments to their proper place