What are the Benefits of Braces Besides Straight Teeth?
According to the American Association of Orthodontics, over 4 million people in the United States are undergoing some form of orthodontic treatment at any given time. That’s a lot of straight smiles! Here at Grubaugh Orthodontics, we’re experts in using orthodontic appliances to make the most of our patients’ smiles, and we know that the benefits of braces go far beyond aesthetics.
While an improved appearance is one of the biggest reasons people seek orthodontic treatment like braces, you may not realize all the ways it can improve not only the cosmetic appearance of a patient, but their overall oral health as well. Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits braces provide that go beyond simply straightening the teeth!
Crooked teeth aren’t just an aesthetic issue – they can also increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Off-kilter teeth create spaces that can become the perfect place for food to hideout, allowing bacteria to multiply. Over time, this will lead to a buildup of tartar and plaque, which in turn can result in cavities and gingivitis. If you have crooked teeth, correcting them with braces will not only improve your overall appearance, it will also eliminate any abnormal spaces, reducing the risk of bacteria building up and wreaking havoc on your smile.
Overcrowding is one of the most common orthodontic issues, and it occurs when your teeth and jaw size don’t work well together. Often, this is an inherited traits just as the color of your eyes, but sometimes the early or late loss of the baby teeth can result in the nearby teeth becoming crooked or crowded.
Overcrowded teeth may not be as obvious as crooked ones, but they can cause just as much trouble. When teeth are packed in tight and overlapping each other in places, it can be difficult to brush and floss effectively. This increases the risk for tooth decay and eventual gum disease. Braces can move the teeth into more optimal positions, making it much easier to maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine.
Ideally, our upper teeth should fit just slightly over our lower teeth. If your upper and lower teeth don’t fit together the way they are meant to, you likely have what we call a malocclusion. Like crooked or crowded teeth, this is often hereditary and is caused by differences in the sizes of the upper and lower jaw.
If the difference is minor, you may not need treatment to correct it, but significant bite issues can cause lasting problems. These put continuous stress on your teeth and mouth, causing unnecessary wear and tear, chipping, and even discomfort when eating. In more severe cases, this kind of strain can cause headaches, earaches, and issues with chewing and digesting food properly. Correcting malocclusions is the most common reason for visiting an orthodontist like Dr. Grubaugh, and we use treatment like braces to reposition the teeth so that they are fully functional and healthy.
Another common orthodontic problem, protruding teeth can not only cause issues cosmetically, they can actually be hazardous. Excessively protruding front teeth can make active children and young athletes more prone to dental trauma, because the teeth are positioned at a vulnerable angle, without enough lip coverage to protect them. This increases the risk of them being chipped or even knocked out completely.
Teeth that protrude beyond the normal position can also create a misaligned bite, where the top and bottom teeth don’t touch at the front of the mouth. When the teeth are unable to close in front of the tongue properly, it may make biting food more difficult. This can ultimately affect digestion, since the food isn’t being chewed well enough before swallowing. Using braces to realign these front teeth can result in an improved overall appearance and more protected smile.
Did you know that our teeth play a big part in how we form our words? If your teeth are not aligned the way they should be, it’s possible for your speech to be affected. Depending on the type, and severity, of your malocclusion, the way your teeth are positioned may result in a speech impediment, most commonly lisps, or problems forming c, z, s, t’s and the “th” sound. Whistling while speaking can also be an issue. The more severe the malocclusion, the more pronounced a speech impediment usually is. Braces will properly align your teeth, allowing you to speak clearly and with confidence.
Setting your smile right with Grubaugh Orthodontics
One of the most valuable benefits of braces is the boost of self-confidence that comes with every successful treatment. The better you feel about your smile, the more likely you are to share it, and here at Grubaugh Orthodontics, our goal is to create beautiful, healthy, and functional smiles you can’t help but show off wherever you go! We put a great deal of effort into working with each patient we see to ensure that only the most appropriate and effective treatment possible is recommended.
Dr. Grubaugh is highly experienced in treating both mild and more serious orthodontic issues, and accepts nothing less than the best results for his patients. He understands that every patient is unique and deserves to receive the very best orthodontic care possible. Our team is skilled, experienced, friendly, and committed to creating the most comfortable and rewarding orthodontic experience each time you visit our office. If you are in the Lansing area, stop by our office in Dewitt or Lansing, or give us a call to schedule your free initial consultation. With an award-winning orthodontist like Dr. Grubaugh looking out for your smile, you’ll be in the very best hands on your journey towards straighter teeth and better overall oral health.