Sometimes patients are hesitant when it comes to seeking orthodontic treatment. In the past, terms like “train tracks” and “metal mouth” were commonly used to describe traditional braces.
Today, constant technological advancements have made braces more efficient, effective and comfortable than ever before. This means more and more patients are choosing to improve their smile and appearance with braces.
Having a good smile can improve your life in more ways than one. Braces can be made of metal or tooth-colored ceramic. Braces place a constant, light and controlled force on the teeth to place them in the correct position.
And while the purpose of braces is to straighten teeth, they have a number of other benefits as well. Many of these benefits are essential for your oral health. We will take a look at the top 5 benefits of braces down below.
1. Braces Prevent Gum Disease
Did you know, nearly 50% of Americans suffer from gum disease? Did you also know that gum disease is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene?
The best line of defense against gum disease is proper brushing and flossing. Without brushing and flossing the plaque in your mouth can accumulate and harden into tartar. When this occurs, only your dentist or dental hygienist can remove the tartar.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Persistent bad breath
- Red or inflamed gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Chewing difficulties and pain
- Tooth sensitivity
- Receding gums
Not only does gum disease affect your oral health, but it also affects your overall health. It is well documented that gum disease can increase your risk of serious health conditions including cancer, heart disease, and stroke. There is also a link between gum disease and pregnancy complications like low birth weight.
So how do braces prevent gum disease?
Well, when your teeth are crowded or have other misalignment issues they are more difficult to clean. It is also easier for food to become lodged between them. With the straightening power of braces, brushing and flossing will no longer be a headache.
2. Braces Prevent Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is largely attributed to improper brushing and flossing. Each time you consume something that is sugary or acidic, bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugars and produce harmful acids.
As a result, this acid build-up eventually leads to the wear down of your tooth enamel. Enamel is the hard, outer surface layer of your teeth that acts as a protective barrier against tooth decay and other serious issues.
Braces can keep your enamel healthy and strong, so you can brush and floss your teeth correctly.
3. Braces Prevent Cavities
When cavities are detected early on, they can be treated with a simple filling. But if you ignore your cavities, they will grow and flourish and you will be required to seek more intensive and costly treatment.
How can braces prevent cavities?
The same they prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
They enable you to brush and floss effectively. Braces correct misalignment, making your oral hygiene routine more manageable. When your teeth are crooked, it is much harder to keep them clean. This can result in higher amounts of plaque accumulation, which can cause cavities. A cleaner mouth means fewer trips to your dentist’s office. The benefits of braces can end up saving you both time and money.
4. Braces Aid Digestion
Misaligned teeth are problematic for more than one reason. Did you know that they also affect your digestion? When your teeth are not properly aligned, you’ll have a harder time chewing foods.
Your stomach does not digest larger pieces of food the same way it digests smaller pieces of food. Since braces realign your teeth, they will allow you to crush and grind your food for better digestion.
5. Braces Prevent Injury
Dental emergencies can be a scary experience for us all. Luckily, the benefits of braces can protect your teeth from damage, in specific your front teeth.
Your front teeth are susceptible to injury, especially when they protrude even more than normal. Braces specialize in straightening teeth, which will prevent injuries such as broken and cracked teeth.
6. Braces Help With Bad Bites
A malocclusion is the misalignment of your teeth and bite. There are different types of malocclusions including, overbites, crossbites, and open bites. Malocclusions can cause chewing and eating difficulties. They also strain your jaw, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Thankfully, braces realign the upper and lower parts of your mouth to correct these abnormalities.
[su_note note_color=”#efefef”]Further reading: Good to know: How do I know I need braces for my teeth[/su_note]