When considering orthodontic treatment, many people think about the cosmetic improvements gained by a straighter smile. It’s certainly true that braces or clear aligners will make you look great, but did you know that there are even more benefits? Here are just a few ways that orthodontic treatment can make you healthier and improve your quality of life.
Straightening your teeth can make a difference in your oral health. In fact, studies have shown that those who have received orthodontic treatment are less likely to have cavities. As the American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) notes, straighter teeth are simply easier to keep clean. Crowded or crooked teeth that are harder to clean can leave you at risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease, which can potentially lead to more — sometimes costly — treatment down the road.
Those with orthodontic problems sometimes experience difficulties with speech articulation. As one study notes, bite issues such as overbites and overjets can often interfere with the positioning of the tongue or lips needed to form certain letter sounds. Braces or clear aligners may help to alleviate these issues.
Supports Eating Habits
When your teeth are not properly aligned, it can affect how you eat. For example, with open bites, your front or back teeth do not properly come together like they should, which can make it hard to bite and chew your food. As the AAO tells us, the goal of orthodontic treatment is to ensure the teeth and jaws line up in the right way. When that is the case, the force created to bite or chew food is evenly distributed, making it much easier to eat.
Supports Jaw Growth
According to the AAO, certain types of bites, such as crossbites, can lead to abnormal jaw growth, including a lopsided jaw or a jaw that shifts to one side. Beyond cosmetic concerns, such issues can cause jaw pain and wear on the tooth enamel. The AAO recommends taking care of crossbites at a younger age, while the face and jaw are still developing.
As you can see, orthodontic treatment is more than simply a cosmetic concern. Have more questions? Schedule a free consultation today to chat with one of our orthodontists.