LAST UPDATED: AUGUST 29, 2017
When people think about braces and the reasons to get them, the first thought that comes to mind is aesthetics. Sure, having a nice looking smile can boost someone’s self-esteem, and that benefit alone can have an impact on a person’s life. However, there are numerous other benefits, not cosmetic in nature that comes from wearing braces.
How Do Braces Work?
Metal, plastic and ceramic are common materials used to make braces. In most situations, they are permanent, but some people can receive braces that are removable. Braces work by exerting a little bit of pressure in a specific direction. This action gradually moves the teeth into their correct position. The amount of pressure that is exerted on the teeth also reshapes the jawline. The bone dissolves and new bone growth supports the teeth in their new place. Braces are ideal for both children and adults. The duration of treatment usually lasts between 18 to 24 months.
What Are the Signs That Braces Are Needed?
Deciding whether braces are necessary is up to the parents or patient. While some people may go throughout their lives without braces, there are some instances that warrant a consultation with an orthodontist. Again, braces are not only about having a great looking smile. In certain situations, using braces to align teeth is necessary. Orthodontic treatment is necessary for the following situations:
- Problems chewing
- Center of upper and lower teeth are out of alignment
- Teeth show signs of excessive wear
- Spaces between teeth
- Overlapped or crowded teeth
These are just a few of the signs that corrective treatment is necessary. A consultation with the orthodontist at Fredericksburg Orthodontics can help to determine a course of action.
What are the Benefits of Braces?
Teeth alignment issues do not only affect a person’s appearance; they can also affect a person’s health. Most people do not fully realize the impact that unaligned teeth can have on functions like eating and speaking. Here are some of the lesser-known benefits of braces.
Does Wearing Braces Improve Chewing?
Teeth and jaws that are out of alignment may make it difficult to bite and chew food. In most situations, these problems do not improve themselves over time. Years of experiencing difficulty in chewing can cause the teeth to wear out quickly. As the problem persists, the muscles of the jaw may start to weaken. The weakening of the jaw leads to painful chewing.
Does Wearing Braces Help to Improve Digestion?
Lacking the ability to chew properly can also have detrimental effects on the digestive system and intake of the right amount of nutrients. The teeth play an instrumental role in digestion. The digestion process begins when the teeth start to grind the food. Misaligned teeth cannot break down food properly. When food is not properly broken down, it takes longer for the food to pass through the digestive system. Painful chewing may cause people to avoid certain foods, decreasing a number of nutrients they receive.
Can Wearing Braces Help to Fix Speech Difficulties?
Speech difficulties are a problem faced by many. However, speech therapy may not be the most effective course of corrective treatment. The way teeth can affect the body and how it functions is often underestimated. Teeth that are out of alignment can affect the placement of the tip of the tongue. Tongue placement affects the proper formation of sounds like ‘t’,’n’ and ‘d’ sounds. Usually, braces can correct this type of speech issue. A consultation with an orthodontist can identify how severe the issue is and devise an effective solution.
Can Wearing Braces Show Improvements in Overall Oral Health?
Brushing and flossing should be a regular part of daily hygiene. Having good hygiene habits is harder to do when the teeth are crooked, crowded or overlap. These conditions create an environment where plaque can build up and bacteria thrive. When plaque and bacteria are in the mouth it creates conditions like:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
Luckily, these dental ailments and diseases are preventable. Braces can put teeth in the correct positions, alleviating overcrowding and crooked teeth. Doing this will make dental hygiene easier and help to avoid unhealthy teeth and gums.
Can Wearing Braces Decrease the Risk of Dental Injury?
Protruding teeth is a problem many people face. Protruding front teeth are dangerous for people who participate in sports activities. The positioning of the teeth makes them more susceptible to trauma. People that have protruding teeth are more prone to breaking or chipping their teeth. An orthodontist can help to decrease the chances of a dental injury with braces.
Can Wearing Braces Help to Prevent Bone Erosion?
Tartar and plaque between the teeth and along the gum line can destroy the bone underneath the teeth. These can lead to gum swelling, bleeding gums and loose teeth. When teeth fall out, the gums can erode. The same thing can occur when there are gaps or spacing between the teeth. Too much pressure on the jawbone because of tooth misalignment can result in the same level of bone erosion.
Can Wearing Braces Fix Jaw Discrepancies?
Jaw issues and misaligned teeth can go hand-in-hand. Crooked and misaligned teeth have an effect on jaw muscles and joints. In order to compensate for the bad positioning, the joints adapt. This adaptation means that the jaws are in a position that can cause damage. The effects of improper jaw alignment include:
- Jaw popping
- Pain in the jaw
- Sleep disorders
Most people who wear braces need to have them for around two years. They may seem inconvenient; the extra care required is worth the effort. Yes, braces straighten teeth. However, there are many other benefits from wearing braces that include improving a person’s bite and dental hygiene routine. If you notice your child complaining about pain when they chew or have a noticeable speech impediment, it may be time to consider braces.
How to Get Your Best Smile
While a smile is the best thing you can wear, some people find themselves self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth. If crooked or misshapen teeth make you want to hide your smile, our team of orthodontists in Stafford is here to help! We know just what it takes to bring out the beautiful smile in anyone, and will work to do whatever is necessary to give you a grin you’ll be proud to show! Contact us today and let us get you started on the road to a beautiful smile.
Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia
Besides Straight Teeth, What are the Benefits of Braces?