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Health Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

posted on 4-17-18

Teeth straightening and jaw alignment efforts by orthodontic specialists are so much more than cosmetic. Orthodontic care can improve many areas of general health, not to mention the possible significant improvements to your oral health in the following ways:

1. Reduce chances of tooth decay and gum disease

Straight teeth make it easier to keep your teeth and gums clean. When you have straight teeth, your brush can reach more surface area on your teeth. Flossing is also easier because you have enough space for the floss to glide easily.

2. Reduce bone erosion and stress on the jawbone

 Orthodontic treatment corrects the way that your teeth meet. Proper alignment of the teeth and jaw reduces the amount of pressure on your jaw bone as you speak and chew. Over time, misaligned teeth can cause increased pressure on certain teeth, slowly eroding the bone and creating unnecessary stress to the jaw joint and muscles surrounding it.

Stress on the jaw bone can lead to Temporomandibular Joint (jaw joint) issues such as TMJ or TMD. Orthodontic treatment can potentially alleviate some of this stress and provide some relief.

3. Reduce chance of trauma to the mouth

With misaligned teeth, especially with an overbite, the risk of trauma and mouth injury is greater, as misalignment can cause teeth to stick out further and make risk of injury in an accident more likely. Moving teeth and jaws into proper alignment significantly reduces the chance of chipped teeth, broken teeth, and other oral trauma.

4. Improve digestion and nutrition

 Eating with misaligned teeth can be difficult. When your teeth don’t meet properly, it impacts how well you can chew. This is where the digestive process begins. Thoroughly chewing your food helps your body to break it down to its most easily digestible form to get the most nutrition out of what you eat.

When you can’t chew properly, it increases your chances of malnutrition and digestive distress, such as stomachaches, as your body struggles to break down large chunks of food. Straight teeth help to improve how you chew and reduce digestive and nutrition issues.

5. Prevent or correct sleep apnea

A common cause of sleep apnea is an obstructed airway. Orthodontic treatment can straighten your teeth and jaw, often opening up the restricted airway, resulting in less snoring, irritation, and encouraging a better night’s sleep.

6. Improve speech

Speech is greatly impacted by the positioning of your teeth and jaw, as words are formed by the position of the tongue against the roof of the mouth and teeth. Many speech therapists often refer children for orthodontic treatment to resolve speech issues and impediments. They are often resolved quickly after orthodontic treatment is finished.

7. Improve mental health

 While orthodontic treatment is not something that can help treat all aspects of mental health, it does affect confidence. Orthodontic treatment straightens teeth and moves the jaw into alignment, impacting the appearance of the entire face. It affects the appearance of the cheeks, jaw, and of course teeth. This can help improve self-confidence, and possibly help you smile more and become more comfortable in your own skin.

 

If you’re ready to take the first step toward one – or many – of the improvements listed above, contact your local Utah Association of Orthodontists member by searching here via zip code. Your smile will thank you for it!

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