If you’re considering braces, you probably immediately think of the aesthetic benefits of having straighter teeth. Braces definitely help you achieve the beautiful, straight smile that you want. However, braces offer a number of other health benefits to consider as well. Here’s a look at some of the health benefits of braces you can enjoy.
Health Benefit #1 – Enjoy Easier Flossing and Brushing
Flossing and brushing are important for preventing tooth decay, but it’s often tough to reach the entire surface of the tooth if you have overcrowded or crooked teeth. When your teeth aren’t aligned properly, there can be extra nooks and crannies where bacteria and food particles build up. Unfortunately, these areas are tough to reach with floss or your tooth brush. When teeth are realigned with braces, it’s easy to floss and brush, reducing the buildup of plaque, tooth decay, and many other oral health problems.
Health Benefit #2 – Improved Bite
When teeth are overcrowded, widely spaced, or crooked, you may end up with a misaligned bite that makes it tough to eat. This can cause teeth to wear out faster and can increase your likelihood of losing teeth as you grow older. You’ll have an improved bite after braces address your bite issues, reducing the risk of tooth loss as you age.
Health Benefit #3 – Reduce the Risk of Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
Using braces to align your teeth can also reduce your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. If teeth are crooked or crowded, tight spaces between the teeth form often called foot traps. Debris easily builds up in these areas, and it can turn into plaque, increasing your risk of cavities, even if you work hard to have great oral hygiene. Once your teeth are aligned after orthodontic treatment, you shouldn’t have problems with these food traps, cleanings, dental exams, and daily oral hygiene will be more efficient, reducing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Health Benefit #4 – Enjoy Improved Speech
You may not realize that the way your tongue moves against your teeth affects your speech. If your teeth are pushed far forward or they lie backward within the mouth, you may deal with speech problems. Many kids that visit speech therapists are actually referred to an orthodontist for orthodontic treatment. Aligning the teeth with braces can often result in improved speech after treatment has been completed.
Health Benefit #5 – Prevent Bone Erosion
The placement of the teeth can affect the pressure put on the jawbone when you chew and talk. The pressure helps to stimulate bone growth, which is essential for holding teeth in place over time. If your teeth are misaligned, too much force may come down on particular teeth when you’re eating, eroding away your bone. There may not be enough pressure in some areas, resulting in a lack of stimulation and bone erosion as well. Moving teeth to the right position with braces can ensure the right amount of pressure is kept on the jawbone to keep them healthy and prevent erosion.
Health Benefit #6 – Improved Digestion and Nutrition
If your teeth are severely misaligned, it’s tough to eat with them. It’s hard to chew properly when teeth do not fit together as they should. The digestion of food starts in the mouth, since chewing food thoroughly makes it easier for your body to break down foods into particles that are easily digestible. This allows the body to get as much nutrients and vitamins from food as possible. If you’re unable to chew properly, then you can deal with digestive problems and malnutrition. Once teeth are aligned properly, you’ll have fewer digestive problems and enjoy better nutrition from the foods you’re eating.
Health Benefit #7 – Reduced Risk of Dental Injuries
If you have protruding front teeth or other issues with misaligned teeth, you have a greater risk for dental injuries. It’s very common for people who have misaligned teeth to accidentally bite their tongue or cheek. Teeth can more easily become broken. If you’re involved in sports, you may also have a greater risk of injury if teeth are misaligned. Braces can align teeth properly and reduce your risk of those painful injuries.
Health Benefit #8 – Lower Overall Health Risks
Since braces can reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, they’ll also help you lower your overall health risks as well. Infections associated with gum disease can actually increase your risk of problems like stroke, heart disease, and more. Reduce your risk for gum disease with braces and you’ll reduce your risk for many other health problems, too.