Braces were initially something teenagers would get when their baby teeth were replaced by permanent teeth to make sure they were perfectly aligned. Because permanent teeth sometimes come out before the baby teeth have fallen out, there is a high chance that they will not be quite in place and braces are a great way to correct that.
However, many adults opt for braces now as well. You might want braces so you can achieve that perfect smile, or your orthodontist might recommend them for some of their other health benefits. Curious what these benefits are? Keep reading to find out!
Correction of Your Bite
The dental term “bite” refers to the position of your upper teeth in relation to the lower teeth when your mouth is closed. The upper and lower teeth need to overlap to a certain degree – any more or less overlap is considered a bite problem, or a malocclusion.
The most common malocclusions are the overbite (the upper teeth cover the lower ones completely) and the underbite (the lower teeth cover the upper ones). Malocclusions can lead to serious health problems such as lockjaw, TMJ disorder, and headaches that stem from jaw pain.
A healthy bite is what you should aim for — this will ensure that you are able to break down your food, which aids the digestive process, and you are not putting unnecessary stress on your jaw.
The position of your teeth and jaw plays an important role in how you speak. An overbite or underbite can affect your speaking patterns; spaces between teeth can cause whistling; a misaligned jaw can restrict the movement of your tongue.
Luckily, braces are a great way to fix all the issues by aligning your teeth and jaw. When everything is perfectly aligned in the correct position, your speech becomes clearer, you can pronounce certain words more distinctly, you stop slurring your words, and your tongue has enough space to move.
Better Oral Health
When your teeth are crooked or crowded, they may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between. Those tight spaces are hard or even impossible to reach when you are brushing your teeth or flossing, which allows bacteria and plaque to build up and can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.
Braces help with this issue by not only ensuring your teeth are straight and there is enough space between them but also by teaching you to pay more attention when cleaning your teeth. Braces are difficult to clean but think of it this way: if you can clean your braces properly, cleaning your teeth after the braces come off will be a breeze!
The Bottom Line
Braces are an excellent way to create a perfect smile and to prevent some serious health problems. If you are in the Birmingham, Al area, come visit us at LeCroy Dental to find out if braces can help you!