The desire to have an attractive smile is the primary reason why most people to wear braces to straighten misaligned teeth. What you may not realize is that improperly aligned teeth can adversely affect your dental health. Having your teeth straightened promotes good oral hygiene. There’s no doubt that braces will improve your smile, but the health benefits may be more important in the long run.
Eliminate Food Traps
When misaligned teeth crowd together or overlap, they create what dentists call “food traps.” A food trap is a constricted space between teeth that is difficult to clean by brushing and flossing. Bits of food become lodged in these spaces, and they eventually turn into pla1ue. It is plaque that leads to cavities and tooth decay. Plaque can also cause gum disease and tooth loss. By straightening teeth, braces eliminate food trap and protect your teeth.
Reduce Jaw Discomfort
When teeth are not properly aligned, the upper and lower rows don’t fit together evenly. The jaw muscles may try to compensate. However, this produces a distorted chewing motion, which causes extra stress. Over time, the uneven motion may cause headaches, jaw popping and jaw pain.
Retard Bone Loss
The uneven fit between the upper and lower jaws can produce another, more serious problem. Normal jawbone growth is stimulated by the pressure exerted by chewing. If the teeth are crooked, the pressure will be uneven. This may result in abnormal or inadequate bone growth. Eventually, your jawbone may erode and become weakened.
Prevent Tooth Damage
When upper and lower teeth move together, they normally mesh smoothly. Teeth that are crowded or crooked tend to strike each other at abnormal angles or with excessive force, causing stress. This increases the rick that teeth will be chipped or broken. When your teeth are straightened, it helps prevent these injuries.
Improve Mouth Function
When you speak, the tongue uses the teeth to help create sounds. This is why a child who has lost teeth as part of normal growth may have trouble with “s” sounds until the new teeth come in. In like manner, incorrect tooth alignment may make it difficult to form words properly. It can also be harder to thoroughly chew food. The body doesn’t process partially chewed food very well, so straightening your teeth can actually promote better nutrition and digestion.
The bottom line is pretty straightforward. An appealing smile is a good reason for wearing braces to move teeth into proper alignment. When you choose to take this step, you also stand to reap some substantial health benefits in the bargain.