If you’re considering braces for you or a member of your family, you’ve probably thought about the many cosmetic advantages. As we know, having attractive teeth can help boost self-esteem and enhance career opportunities, not to mention give you or a loved one a more engaging smile.
Before deciding, however, you probably want to know if there are other benefits to help justify the investment. Thankfully, you can rest easy you’re making the right choice! Aesthetics aside, there’s a wide range of functional and medically proven reasons to receive orthodontic care. Here are some highlights:
Better oral hygiene: When teeth are crooked and crowded together, they are more difficult to brush and floss. If you’re not getting to those hard-to-reach areas, you’re increasing the chance for tooth decay, gum disease, loss of bone and/or gum tissue, and more. Worse yet, if one tooth suffers from decay, it can impact the teeth around it, creating a domino effect that can cause thousands of dollars in preventable dental work. Since braces properly align your teeth, they will allow you to thoroughly clean them every day.
Longer-lasting teeth: Types of malocclusions (improperly aligned bite) include an overbite, underbite, crossbite, openbite and crowding. These can cause a host of problems. Two major potential issues are improper chewing and teeth grinding. Both can prematurely wear tooth enamel as well as chip teeth, leading to expensive crowns and other repairs. An orthodontist can correct a misaligned bite, in many cases preventing these problems before they have a chance to develop.
Reduced damage to other tissues in your mouth: A malocclusion can cause you to unintentionally bite your cheek. A protruding tooth can cause teeth to collide when biting, leading to jaw pain and potential damage to teeth and gums. It can also make you more susceptible to mouth injuries, particularly if you participate in sports.
Proper chewing and digestion: The primary function of our teeth is breaking our food into smaller pieces. A malocclusion may make it more difficult to chew your food. This can lead to potential choking hazards and more difficulty for your body to digest nutrients from the foods you eat.
Potential solution to snoring and obstructive sleep apnea: In the case of a misaligned bite, airways may get pinched, which can result in snoring and other sleep issues. An orthodontist has the ability to identify and correct bite issues which can affect sleep.
Headaches and other pain: As mentioned earlier, a malocclusion can lead to the grinding of teeth. In addition to tooth damage, it can cause pain in your jaw as well as headaches.
Better speech: Since we talk using our mouths, it makes sense that our bite can impact our speech. While braces have been known to temporarily affect speech while the user gets used to them, fewer know that correction of an improper bite can permanently improve the quality of a person’s speaking. In addition to the cosmetic advantages mentioned above, this can give you or a loved one an extra leg up in a job interview, presentation, or simply when interacting with others on a day-to-day basis.
So there you have it! There’s no need to be on the fence about braces since cosmetic improvement is just the tip of the iceberg. From oral health, to speech, to sleep, to the alleviation of pain, orthodontic care is one of the best investments you can make for yourself or a loved one. And for the best in orthodontic care, you can trust Dr. Ross Hunter and his team at Hunter Family Orthodontics.