Identifying and treating tooth and jaw alignment issues early on is very beneficial for your health. This allows time to make adjustments and align the teeth into their correct position. Your teeth are something you use to eat, smile and communicate with others, so it’s important to take care of them as soon as possible, no matter your age. Whether making them more aesthetically pleasing or for the betterment of your health, we all need to take advantage of orthodontic benefits.
A straighter smile can improve you or your child’s self-confidence as it makes a more attractive smile (helping one feel more self-assured, especially for those navigating through insecure teen years). Along with the aesthetic improvements orthodontics can provide you, studies have shown that a smile with aligned teeth can boost your career in addition to your social status. This is due to people feeling more confident with their smile knowing they have straight teeth.
When it comes to oral hygiene, one of the main benefits of straighter teeth is that they are easier to clean thoroughly. When your teeth are misaligned, this can create crevices where it’s difficult for your toothbrush and floss to clean. It ultimately prevents cavities and gingivitis, which alone is significant if you want to keep your natural teeth. Other problems may arise if gingivitis is not treated; periodontal disease may occur and even lead to heart disease, stroke or diabetes.
Another issue that may come up is bone and gum erosion. Without proper support, pressure is put on the jawbone and gum tissues. Orthodontics helps correct this and moves your teeth and jaws into a proper place to support themselves, which in turn can help avoid periodontal issues as well as prevent tooth loss.
Another benefit of orthodontic treatment is correcting your speech. As you age, teeth can shift out of their normal alignment due to a condition known as tongue thrust or if you have experienced oral trauma. A few more commonly known reasons are thumbsucking, gaps in the teeth (can cause whistling), an underbite or an overbite. By repositioning the teeth and jaws, some speech impediments can be corrected and the pronunciation of words sounds better.
Other advantages to having straight teeth include a lower risk of lip and gum injury as well as better digestion. Better alignment allows you to chew foods correctly. You can also prevent or minimize headaches, teeth grinding and TMJ disorders by correcting a bad bite.
However, the most important benefit to evaluating and treating your orthodontic situation is the effect it can have on your airway. In our office, this is a main emphasis! Dr. Hockel analyzes your or your child’s bite, alignment, jaw joints, and any signs of sleep apnea, and then recommends a treatment plan which will address your particular needs while respecting your airway; i.e. he will never recommend treatment that may reduce your airway space.
Are you interested in benefiting from orthodontic care? Give us a call today to set up a consultation. We’ll be happy to help you get the full benefits of straighter teeth today!