When people think about having orthodontic treatment, they primarily think about the aesthetic benefits of having a straight smile. However, orthodontic treatment is more than just aesthetics and it can actually help improve and maintain your oral health. Besides properly aligning your teeth and bite, let’s take a look at some of the many health benefits of orthodontics:
Decreased Risk for Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
After undergoing orthodontic treatment, your teeth will be properly aligned and spaced so that they do not overlap. This means that as long as you brush correctly, all the surfaces of your teeth should get clean. Additionally, any overcrowding will be corrected so that you can easily move floss between all of your teeth to remove debris from the areas not reached by the toothbrush. Being able to thoroughly clean your teeth allows you to remove plaque and bacteria, which will reduce your chances of developing tooth decay or gum disease.
Maintain Proper Eating and Speaking Abilities
People who have problems with their teeth and bite often have problems with eating and speaking. For example, people with an open bite may not be able to bite into foods, while people with an overbite or underbite may have difficulty biting into foods evenly. Depending on the severity of malocclusion, people may even struggle with chewing their food, especially if the top and bottom teeth don’t meet up properly.
Speech is another thing that can be impacted. The way air moves through our mouths when we talk are what helps to produce certain sounds. If the airflow is interrupted or too much airflow is present, then speech sounds can become distorted and cause speech impediments. The proper alignment of the teeth and bite help to prevent speech problems by preserving the natural pathway of air while speaking.
Although your teeth are designed to absorb the forces of opposing teeth while chewing, these forces can make your teeth weak over time if they are not uniformly applied. When your teeth or bite are misaligned, this causes the opposing teeth to meet at uneven angles. This can mean that one area of your tooth is absorbing the entire force of another tooth. Overtime, this weakens the affected tooth and can eventually lead to chips or cracks in the tooth. Properly aligning your teeth and bite with orthodontic treatment means that your teeth meet up in the correct place and the force is evenly distributed. This keeps your teeth strong and decreases the possibility of them becoming damaged.
Decreases TMD Risk
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) can develop as a result of placing too much strain on the jaw joint. It can cause jaw pain, earaches, headaches, restricted ability to open the mouth, and difficulty biting into or chewing food. Unfortunately, people with misaligned bites are more likely to develop TMD because malocclusion places additional strain on the jaw joint. By having your bite corrected with orthodontic treatment, you reposition the bite so that it allows the jaw to function properly without additional strain. This can significantly decrease the risk of developing TMD.
Dr. Williams is up to date with all of the latest techniques and theories in the practice of orthodontics and is an active member of the American Association of Orthodontists. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality of orthodontic care to every patient.