The Many Oral Health Benefits of Orthodontics
Orthodontic treatment will transform your smile so that your teeth and bite are perfectly aligned. While you may think that the visual aesthetics of a straight smile are the primary benefit of orthodontics, there are various other benefits that you may not realize. In addition to properly aligning your teeth and bite, orthodontic treatment can improve your oral health in these ways:
Maintain Strong Teeth
Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body and your teeth can withstand a great deal of force. However, if this force is not evenly distributed it can cause damage to your teeth in the form of chips, cracks, or premature enamel wear. When your teeth or bite is misaligned, this can unfortunately cause certain parts of our teeth to be exposed to more force than others. Overtime, this can eventually result in mild to severe damage to the tooth. By aligning your teeth and bite, orthodontics maintains strong teeth by allowing them to function properly.
Another oral health benefit of orthodontics is the simple fact that straight teeth are easier to keep clean. Not only are there no tiny crevices between overlapping teeth for tartar to form, but straight teeth allow for you to clean almost the entire surface of your teeth while brushing. Whatever you miss when brushing can then be removed while flossing, since your teeth will also not be overcrowded. Orthodontics makes it so that your daily brushing and flossing routine goes a lot further and it also decreases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease which can be caused by plaque accumulation.
Reduces Risk of Jaw Dysfunction
One unfortunate consequence of a misaligned bite is the development of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD causes a range of uncomfortable symptoms including headaches, ear and jaw pain, problems biting or chewing food, and a restricted ability to open the mouth fully. Although the exact cause of TMD is not known, a misaligned bite that places additional strain on the jaw joint is a major contributing factor. Therefore, aligning your bite with orthodontic treatment decreases the amount of strain on your jaw joint, as well as your risk for TMD.
Makes Eating Easier
After orthodontic treatment, one of the things you may notice is that it is easier to eat. This is because your teeth and bite are properly aligned so you have the maximum amount of biting and chewing power. Unfortunately, people with misaligned bites can struggle to bite into or chew certain foods. Depending on the type and severity of malocclusion, some people may not be able to enjoy certain foods because of how difficult it is to eat them.
Avoid Speech Problems
Problems with the alignment of your teeth and bite can also cause potential speech problems. This is because your teeth help direct the flow of air while speaking. If there are gaps between teeth, overlapping teeth, or teeth where there isn’t supposed to be teeth, this affects the airflow and can cause a speech impediment. Properly aligning your teeth and bite helps your speech by ensuring the air flows through the right places to make certain sounds.
Dr. Massih attended UCLA, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in psychobiology. She then went on to earn her DDS degree at UCLA’s School of Dentistry, where she was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship, and was in the top 10% of her class. She has received her certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at the University of Pittsburgh and is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, & American Dental Association.