When people think about braces, they tend to think mostly about the benefits that you see on the surface. While perfectly aligned teeth do make a pretty smile, there are far more benefits to straightening teeth than just improving your looks. Today’s orthodontic techniques provide a high return on your investment by providing these benefits that can last a lifetime.
Improve Your Oral Health
Teeth that have large gaps or overlap each other are a major problem when it comes to your oral hygiene routine. Food often gets stuck between misaligned teeth, and you may find it hard to remove it with dental floss or your toothbrush. With braces, your teeth will gradually shift into the right positions. This makes it easier to fully clean your teeth and reduce your chances of getting cavities or gum disease.
Support Better Nutrition
Poorly aligned teeth can make chewing your food harder. This often leads to people swallowing large chunks of food that are harder to digest. When your teeth are properly aligned, the chewing surfaces should line up properly. Being able to break down your food by chewing it completely makes it easier for your digestive system to finish the job so that your body absorbs the most possible nutrients.
Retain Bone Mass in Your Jaw
Dental implants are not the only type of treatment that helps to protect jawbone mass. Teeth that are harder to clean can trap bacteria beneath the gum line that leads to periodontitis. Once severe gum disease sets in, you can begin to lose bone mass. Moving your teeth into positions that make hygiene easier can help to maintain bone mass so that you are less likely to lose your teeth later in life.
Ease Tooth Grinding
The mouth tends to sense when teeth are misaligned. This can sometimes lead to behaviors such as nighttime tooth grinding that further erodes the surface of your tooth enamel. Depending upon the severity of your tooth grinding and the type of treatment you can get, the benefits of seeking treatment could be immediate. For instance, clear plastic aligners can serve as a mouthguard that prevents the surfaces of your top and bottom teeth from touching.
Promote the Success of Other Treatments
Unfortunately, people with misaligned teeth tend to have other oral health conditions that impact their health and comfort. Straightening your teeth might be the first step that you need to complete before you get treatment for TMJ or other bite issues. In some cases, you may use braces during the process of correcting other conditions so that your smile improves from every angle.
Enjoy Greater Self-Confidence
Braces do not just impact your physical health. They also provide you with a new way of looking at yourself. Being embarrassed about your smile can begin to cause mental health issues even during childhood. Teens are especially at risk for developing low self-esteem when their teeth make them ashamed to show their smile. Choosing to get braces makes it possible to love how you look in the mirror, and this can pay off when you feel more confident making new friends, speaking in public and smiling for photographs.
Getting braces is a life-changing moment. Many people’s teeth do not grow in completely straight, and overcrowding can lead to an increased risk for tooth decay along with other problems. Although it might seem strange to think that braces could transform your life, choosing to straighten your teeth leads to many rewards for your physical and mental health.
Getting Started with Orthodontic Treatment in Texas
If you live in Texas, a great place to find your orthodontist is the Texas Association of Orthodontists (TAO). The TAO is a professional organization of orthodontic specialists committed to maintaining the highest standards of orthodontic care for patients throughout Texas. You can access the TAO’s directory web page at https://www.texasortho.org/listings/.