There’s no denying there’s something charming about a straight-toothed smile. However, some folks are skeptical if the aesthetic outcome is worth the cost and effort of orthodontic treatment. “Are braces just for aesthetics?” they wonder. While improving one’s appearance is a common motivation for seeking treatment, it isn’t the only one. Our mouths have an incredible link to our overall health. Assuring everything in it fits and functions well can bring drastic improvements to our wellbeing. Here are some unexpected ways braces can improve your health beyond aesthetics:
Braces Can Reduce Risk of Cavities, Tooth Decay, & Gum Disease
One of the most common non-aesthetic benefits of straight teeth is that there are less places for food to stick. With a uniform smile, it’s harder for leftover food to become wedged in a difficult to notice and remove place. If food goes unremoved, it can begin to break down in the mouth rather than the stomach where it’s supposed to be. This can lead to things like common cavities, but also tooth decay and gum disease. In this way, braces can be a preventative treatment (but you should still brush and floss everyday!).
Braces Can Alleviate Jaw Pain
One way braces can be medically beneficial is in alleviating jaw pain. Having a misaligned bite – such as under or overbites – can cause jaw pain by straining the muscles that move the jaw or by causing stress to the teeth. Our teeth are formed to withstand biting force at certain angles. A mismatched jaw alignment puts pressure where teeth are not designed to take it. This can lead to cracked or chipped teeth. There is also evidence that jaw alignment correction can improve sleep problems and even snoring! Turns out, achieving an ideal bite through orthodontic treatment can fix a lot.
Braces Can Prevent Digestive Problems
Like we said, our teeth are designed to slot together at a certain angle. This allows us to chew our food and prepare it for digestion. If there is an extreme case of jaw misalignment, the person could find it difficult to properly chew their food before swallowing. While their mouths may have adapted, these larger bits of food can actually cause digestive problems. We told you our mouths had a pretty big impact on our health!
Braces Can Avert Excessive Injury
If your teeth protrude or are otherwise misaligned, you could be at greater risk of further injury if you have an accident. Athletes playing contact sports like soccer may be prone to greater injury if they have protruding or misaligned teeth. Beyond athletics, if you get into a car accident or simply have a bad fall, you could encounter extra complications. The teeth are in a more vulnerable position to begin with, so injuries sustained to the mouth are likely to have more drastic consequences.
Braces Can Improve Speech Impediments
In addition to being an important factor in determining our health our mouth also has a say in how we say things. Pronunciation of C, S, Z, T, and TH sounds are most commonly affected in cases of poor jaw alignment. Braces can help correct the mechanics of your mouth, giving you the proper tools to tell us all about Sally selling seashells by the seashore.
So, there you have it: braces are not just an aesthetic fix. They can improve your oral health by reducing the amount of crevices forgotten food can get stuck in and protect you from things like cavities. Beyond your mouth, there’s a host of medical conditions that can be improved through correcting misaligned jaws. This includes jaw pain and digestive issues. We know braces might seem like a lot of work and a lot of stress, but, as we’ve shown, they can do a whole lot of good, too.
At Tisseront Orthodontics, we know how important oral health is to our patients. We are proud to offer you a unique experience in adult and child orthodontics, with a variety of treatment options. Our work is recognized across the nation with our forward-thinking approach and unparalleled results. The award-winning team of professionals at Tisseront Orthodontics are here to guide you through your evaluation, treatment, and follow-up plans for a healthy, beautiful smile.