Sure orthodontic treatment can improve the appearance of your teeth – just ask Cristiano Ronaldo, Emma Watson, and Niall Horan. But there is more to successful orthodontic treatment (or braces) than meets the eye.
Braces can improve oral health, bite alignment and temporomandibular joint function. Although these benefits usually play second string to the aesthetic improvements patients consider when seeking braces, they are equally, if not more important.
Straight teeth are healthy teeth.
Crowded and crooked teeth are not only unattractive; they’re difficult to clean. Areas where your toothbrush or floss cannot reach are prone to plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky coating that contains bacteria, which react with consumed starches and sugar to create an acidic byproduct. This acidic byproduct dissolves your tooth’s protective enamel layer and causes decay. Plaque accumulation also can cause gingivitis and progress into more severe periodontal disease.
“These benefits mean nothing if you don’t keep your teeth clean while wearing braces,” says Tewksbury Invisalign provider Dr. Nitish Nahata. “Like crowded teeth, an intricate appliance creates additional surface area to trap food and plaque. Regular fluoride treatments can help prevent decay, but we also suggest our patients follow the American Association of Orthodontists’ suggestions for keeping teeth healthy while wearing braces.”
Proper bite function.
Just as tires wear thin when they are misaligned, so do teeth. Braces can help correct the alignment of your teeth and prevent unnecessary wear and tear. After all, you only get one set of permanent teeth. They need to last you a lifetime.
Avoid Temporomandibular joint disorders.
These disorders affect your TMJ and the facial muscles that control it. Your TMJ is the hinge joint where your bottom jaw (mandible) meets your skull’s temporal bone. You can feel this joint by placing a finger just in front of your ear, and opening and closing your jaw.
TMJ disorders can stem from injury, mal-aligned bites, teeth clenching and even stress that causes facial muscles to tense for prolonged periods. Improving your bite alignment with orthodontic treatment can reduce the stress placed on this joint, as well as symptoms such as toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and tinnitus or ringing in the ears.
Aesthetic improvement plays a major role in the motivation to seek orthodontic treatment, but we want you to know braces can do so much more for your oral health.
If you live in Tewksbury, Billerica, Andover, Wilmington or other neighboring communities, we would love to discuss how braces can benefit your specific case. Call today if you have questions or wish to schedule an orthodontic evaluation.