When people think of getting braces for themselves or their child, the main benefit that comes to mind is having a straighter smile. While a straighter smile is a major benefit to having braces, there are many other great benefits as well. Your dentist may suggest braces to aid in a variety of oral health concerns including improving bite, aligning your jaw, or preventing tooth damage like decay and cavities. Here are some reasons why braces might be a benefit to you or your child.

Improved Bite

Your “bite” is the way that your upper and lower jaw align when your teeth are closed. If your bite is not properly aligned, it can cause difficulty chewing and can ultimately lead to jaw pain, headaches, or a condition known as TMJ. Using braces to align and improve bite can be a helpful way to help alleviate some of these concerns. 

Improving your bite can also assist in digestion. If your bite is misaligned you may not be able to chew your food effectively, leading to you swallowing larger bits of food. Improving your bite using braces can help you chew better and thus allow you to  digest your food more easily. 

Prevention of Tooth Decay, Cavities, and Gum Disease

Having teeth that are misaligned, overlap, or missing can increase the difficulty of cleaning your teeth. Tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease, are all complications that can arise when food and bacteria get trapped between teeth, and they are more likely to happen when teeth are misaligned. Using braces, your teeth can be aligned and spaced out properly, allowing you to clean your teeth more effectively using floss and a toothbrush. This then decreases your likelihood of developing these complications

Improvement of Speech

Sometimes, misaligned teeth or jaw can affect tongue placement, leading to difficulty pronouncing certain letters such as ‘d’, ‘n’, or ‘t’, or can result in whistling sounds when talking. Depending on the situation, braces may be able to correct these issues, allowing for proper tongue placement and thus improvement of speech.

Increased Confidence

Confidence is an important part of living a happy and fulfilled life. Having crooked teeth can often be a cause of lowered self-esteem and a lack of confidence. If you or your child are not comfortable with their smile it can take a toll on mental health. Using braces to correct these insecurities can result in a strong, confident smile, which leads to decreased anxiety, greater happiness, and better overall health.  

With such a wide range of benefits, it is clear that braces can be a worthwhile option for some adults and children. If you have questions about braces be sure to bring it up with your dentist at your next visit. Our dentist at South University Dental Associates would be happy to discuss how braces might benefit your smile and health.