Health Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
Many people believe that orthodontic treatment purely refers to the use of traditional orthodontic braces. However, today orthodontic treatment can refer to a variety of different solutions, all designed to improve the appearance of crooked, protruding or crowded teeth, or to correct problems with how the teeth come together, known as the patient’s bite. However, in addition to providing solutions for the aforementioned difficulties, there is also a range of health benefits provided by orthodontic treatment.
Types of orthodontic treatment
Conventional braces may well be the most well-known type of orthodontic treatment, but there are now some variations available. Which is right for your will depend on the extent of the problems with your teeth and/or bite, and Arlington Dentistry by Design dentist will be able to make a personal recommendation after a consultation appointment with you.
The four main types of orthodontic treatment include:
Fixed braces: non-removable braces that use wires and elastics to pull your teeth into the right position. These are attached to your teeth with special adhesive.
Removable braces: these take the form of plastic plates that sit across the roof your mouth, attaching to your teeth with clips. Removable braces have much less scope for moving your teeth than fixed braces.
Headgear: used in conjunction with an orthodontic appliance, headgear is worn overnight, usually with the purpose of correcting an excessive horizontal overbite.
Appliances: one of the newest orthodontic appliances to come on to the scene is Invisalign®, a treatment program that involves the patient wearing a series of clear, plastic aligners over their teeth which exert pressure, guiding them into the desired location.
Health benefits of orthodontic treatment
In addition to transforming the appearance of your teeth and smile, orthodontic treatment can also benefit your health in a variety of different ways.
Better oral health
Many people choose orthodontic treatment because they have gaps in their smile. Unfortunately, gaps between your teeth can be extremely detrimental to your oral, and eventually your general, health. It is in these gaps that bacteria can accumulate, and plaque can form. It can be incredibly difficult to effectively clean in these tiny spaces, meaning decay and periodontal disease can quickly develop. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bone and tooth loss, as well as some general health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers.
Orthodontic treatment closes both big and small gaps between the teeth, reducing the likelihood that you will develop dental problems.
Many people simply don’t realize that the way in which we speak can be dramatically changed by the position of our teeth. This is because as we speak, the movement of our tongue against our teeth helps us to form the sounds. For example, when a child loses their top two teeth, they may struggle to make the ‘S’ sound because they cannot push their tongue against them. Try it yourself and see how hard it is!
Orthodontic treatment can bring teeth into the correct alignment that makes sounding out words much easier.
Reduction in jaw related health problems
Often, people subconsciously adjust how they hold their jaw so that their teeth fit together better. However, over time this can cause a range of symptoms to develop including aches, stiffness and popping in the jaw, lockjaw and even head, neck and ear aches.
Orthodontic treatment can alleviate these health problems by addressing the position of your jaw and correcting your bite.
Better digestion and greater nutrition
The very first stage of the digestive process involves biting and chewing our food, so that it is broken down before it passes into the esophagus. Once food has been chewed, it is much easier for the body to process and absorb the nutrients that it needs. However, patients who have teeth that are poorly aligned often struggle to bite and chew their food effectively. This means that they may not receive all of the nutrition from their food. They may also be more likely to suffer from digestive issues such as increased stomach acid, as the body has to work much harder to process the food.
Prevention of dental injuries
Many people suffer from overbites. This is where the front teeth protrude over the bottom teeth. Unfortunately, overbites mean that the front teeth are more likely to be damaged if the person suffers an accident or trauma. Other people with misaligned teeth find that they sometimes accidentally bite or catch the soft tissue on the inside of their mouths, causing pain and occasionally bleeding.
Realigning the teeth so that they meet properly, and addressing bite problems, can help to prevent minor and major dental injuries.
If you would like to know more about the health benefits of orthodontic treatment, contact and arrange an appointment with our dentist as soon as possible.