You may think you know all the benefits of wearing braces. They straighten your teeth and make them look pretty, right? That may be the most obvious benefit, but it’s far from the only one. There are many benefits to braces. Did you know braces can improve your sleep? Did you know braces and self-esteem are connected? There are far more benefits to braces than you may think.
Smith & Davis Orthodontics works with clear ceramic braces and clear aligners every day. We see how braces change the lives of our patients in the Rogers, AR, area. We see patients who improve their oral health and overall health with braces. Like you, they’re learning the advantages of braces go far beyond just straight teeth. Let’s look at how braces help your teeth and so much more.
Braces Improve Jaw Alignment
Braces can straighten teeth, but they can also fix your jaws! Misaligned jaws can lead to jaw pain, inflammation, popping while chewing or biting, neck pain, and headaches. Jaws can become misaligned from a bad bite, and the longer a bad bite is left untreated, the worse it can get.
Braces Can Correct a Bite
Braces can correct a bad bite. When your teeth don’t fit together correctly, this is what’s known as a bad bite. Biting and chewing with a bad bite can put excess pressure on your jaws and make your jaws tired and sore. It can also put extra pressure on your teeth, leading to tooth cracking, chipping, and eventual tooth loss.
Braces can correct a bad bite by realigning the teeth to come down in their proper positions while biting and hitting exactly where they should. This eases pressure on the jaws and improves your ability to chew.
Braces Can Prevent TMJ Disorder
The joint that connects your upper and lower jaws is called the temporomandibular joint. A bad bite or misaligned jaw can put excess pressure on this joint. This can inflame the joint, causing pain, popping, fatigue, and stiffness in the joint. This is called temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ Disorder (TMD).
Braces can realign your teeth and jaws and prevent TMD by preventing the excess pressure on your jaws and joints by correcting your bad bite.
Do Braces Make Your Teeth Stronger?
Is it possible? Can braces make your teeth stronger? In a way, yes, they can! We don’t mean they’re strong because they might have a ceramic backup. Braces make your teeth stronger because they allow you to care for your teeth better.
Tooth Decay, Cavities, and Gum Disease Prevention
Plaque forms on the teeth and gums every day after eating and drinking. The plaque acid can weaken the enamel (the hard, protective coating on your teeth) as it builds up. This can lead to tooth decay, which can lead to cavities. Cavities can cause harm to the inside of your tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are located. Eventually, your tooth could die, and you could experience tooth loss. Plaque can also harm your gums by causing inflammation, bleeding, and infection, leading to tooth loss.
That said — what are the benefits of braces for teeth? Braces make it easier to remove plaque from your teeth and gums. When your teeth are crooked and too close together, it’s harder for your toothbrush or dental floss to get all the plaque off your teeth. When your teeth are straight and spaced properly, your teeth can be cleaned easier. It’s not only easier for you to clean your teeth; it’s also easier for your dentist to clean them. That reduces your chances of getting gum disease and tooth decay.
Misaligned teeth don’t just trap plaque on your teeth. They can also trap bacteria below the gum line. That bacteria can start breaking down the bone that holds your teeth in your jaw. This is called bone erosion, which leads to infections and tooth loss.
Braces straighten the teeth and allow you to clean the bacteria off better. Braces also keep your bone healthy by allowing it to rebuild itself. Braces stretch the connective tissue and nerves that hold your teeth in your jaw. As these periodontal ligaments allow the teeth to move, the bone around the tooth’s root breaks down to allow movement. It also rebuilds itself as the tooth settles into place. This is a natural process that keeps the bone in your jaw healthy.
Braces Can Help Prevent Sleeping and Breathing Issues
Braces can improve your bite and teeth cleaning. But did you know braces can also improve your breathing and sleep? It’s true!
Misaligned teeth and jaws can cause obstructions to your airways, particularly when you lay down. This can cause you to snore or breathe through your mouth. Studies have shown that breathing through your mouth can cause a higher risk of cavities, inflamed gums, and chronic bad breath. Braces can align your teeth and jaws so that your airway opens properly, making it easier to breathe.
Breathing through your mouth in your sleep can lead to a potentially serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. This is when you temporarily stop breathing at night, which lowers the oxygen in your blood. Over time, this can damage your organs, especially your heart. Untreated, sleep apnea can eventually lead to heart disease.
A correct bite and straighter teeth can reduce your chances of snoring or developing sleep apnea. Braces can also align your teeth and reduce bruxism or teeth-grinding. Teeth grinding has been linked to sleep apnea, as well.
Fixing your smile with braces can reduce or eliminate these symptoms and improve your oral health and overall health. The long-term effects of braces are just as important as the short-term benefits of braces!
Braces Improve Digestive Health
Many people think digestion starts in your stomach, but that’s not the case! Digestion begins in your mouth as you chew your food. Your saliva and teeth begin to break down the food. Your teeth and jaws are made to break down the food into smaller pieces, which are easier for your stomach and intestines to digest.
When you have a bad bite, your food isn’t broken down as well. That means your stomach and intestines have to work much harder. This can lead to gastrointestinal issues, from gas and bloating to acid reflux. It also means you may not be getting as many nutrients as you should. Breaking down the food releases and processes the nutrients for your body. If the food doesn’t break down properly, the nutrients aren’t released properly.
Braces straighten your teeth and align your jaws, so you chew your food correctly. This improves digestion and nutrient absorption. That means that braces improve your oral health and overall health too!
Braces Improve Overall Oral Hygiene
There are other ways how braces help your teeth beyond sleep and digestion. Most people with braces tend to pay more attention to their oral hygiene habits. They make brushing and flossing, and mouthwash more of a daily routine, and their orthodontists usually teach them more proper methods for keeping their teeth clean with braces. These habits carry on after treatment, improving overall oral hygiene.
You can also improve overall oral health with fluoride treatments both during and after treatment. These treatments coat your enamel and provide extra protection from tooth decay and gum disease.
Braces Help With Speech Improvement
Your speech is dependent in part on the placement of your teeth. Your tongue touches your teeth with certain letters and sounds. When your teeth are straight, those sounds are more clear. When your teeth are crooked, your tongue may not hit where it should, making these sounds less distinct. This can cause speech impediments.
Braces straighten your teeth and place them where your tongue can hit them properly during speech. You may find your speech becomes clearer as your treatment progresses.
Braces and Self-Esteem
One of the things we notice most about our braces patients at Smith & Davis Orthodontics is how their self-esteem improves during and especially after treatment. When you’re not comfortable with your smile, it can make it more difficult to want to show off your teeth. We’ve seen patients who try to hide their smiles or simply don’t smile if they can help it.
We never want you to hide your smile. It’s your best first impression! Your braces can improve your oral and overall health, but they can also improve your mental health. Having the smile of your dreams will give you more self-confidence. We believe that after braces treatment, you’ll be showing off that gorgeous smile and feeling great about it!
The Benefits of Braces Can Last Your Lifetime!
Braces can have amazing short-term effects, from better oral hygiene to boosting self-esteem. They can also have long-term effects, from improved speech to better health. With braces, your improved oral hygiene means your teeth can last longer. You’ll have a smile you can show off proudly for years to come!
Ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation today! Smith & Davis Orthodontics serves patients in the Rogers, AR area. We offer clear braces for children and adults, as well as treatment with clear aligners.