When most people get braces they do so because they want a more beautiful and confident smile. What very few orthodontic patients realize, however, is that having straight teeth can bring forth a number of health benefits as well. If you've been considering braces as a purely cosmetic option, perhaps understanding these health benefits will help you look at getting braces in a new light.
When your teeth are straight, they're easier for you (and your dentist) to adequately clean. With crooked teeth, it's difficult to reach certain areas when brushing and flossing, which can lead to plaque buildup, tooth decay, and other dental problems. Once you get braces and have your teeth straightened, you'll likely find that you also have an easier time at the dentist's office. You'll just need to be extra diligent when your braces are on to keep up with your dental hygiene, especially if you have traditional metal braces.
Reduced Risk of Gum Disease
People with straighter teeth also tend to have healthier gums. That's because, when your teeth are crooked, they tend to crowd together and may even overlap in some areas. This causes unnecessary strain and stress on your gum tissue, which could result in red and swollen gums. Over time, you may be at a greater risk of developing gingivitis or periodontal disease as a result of tooth crowding. While gingivitis is treatable and curable, the consequences of periodontal disease last a lifetime.
Effective Chewing and Speaking
Finally, when you have straight teeth, you'll also find that you have an easier time biting, chewing, and even speaking. With crooked teeth, your bite could be poorly aligned, which can lead to jaw problems, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders of the jaw bone; these disorders can be very painful and lead to lock-jaw, headaches, and severe mouth pain. With straight teeth and a proper bite, you can avoid TMJ problems. You may also find that speaking is easier, and that the lisp you once had gradually disappears, after you get used to your braces and your teeth begin to straighten out.
As you can see, there are many legitimate health benefits that come along with having straight teeth. So, in addition to increasing your confidence with a beautiful smile, getting braces could also reduce your risk of gum disease, help prevent tooth decay, and even support better jaw and bone health. Talk to your dental professional, such as Roy B. Guster DDS PC, for more information.