What are the long-term health benefits of braces
Wearing braces is not something most people choose to do for the fun of it. Most of us choose to wear these orthodontic devices because we want to improve our smile as well as our overall quality of life and simply feel better about ourselves. But the long-term health benefits of braces are not to be understated, either. By wearing braces, you are doing much more than simply correcting your teeth and achieving a healthier smile. Whether you choose to wear the best at-home braces, or ones that you wear non-stop, you will be able to reap the long-term benefits that they offer. But what are these benefits and why are they so important? That is what we are going to talk about in this article.
The long-term health benefits of braces
Everyone benefits from wearing braces in a different way. The simple fact that you are doing something to better your health is an amazing benefit on its own. Most people, however, find that wearing braces brings the following benefits:
- Better mental health
- Improved relationships
- Prevention of gum diseases
- Prevention of bone erosion
- Smaller risk of damaged/chipped teeth
- Quality of life improvements
- Improvements to your digestive health
- Tooth decay prevention
- Bite correction
It is also interesting to note that many people choose to wear braces simply because of the physical benefits that they offer. There are many different types of braces to take into consideration, all of which will serve a unique purpose. For some people, simply correcting their smile is enough. Others might find more value in the pain/headache relief that comes with this correction. But everyone gets to benefit from much more than that. Let’s take a look at how exactly wearing braces influences your overall health for the better.
Better mental health
Many people who have crooked teeth suffer from self-confidence and self-esteem issues. It is very common for those individuals to be extremely uncomfortable with the way that they smile, which erodes their self-confidence as time goes on. This can lead to numerous other mental health issues that have self-confidence as their root cause. By wearing braces and correcting the physical flaws that you might have, you will be able to look at yourself in a more favorable light. Therefore, you should always be on the lookout for the warning signs that you need braces.
The self-confidence boost you get once you finish wearing braces is usually worthwhile all on its own. But that is just the starting point. Feeling better about yourself is great but you are not the only one that will see you in a different light. Other people will too, which is the next long-term benefit of wearing braces.
People often judge others based on their appearance. This is an unfortunate fact of life, and there is nothing no one can do about it. We’re simply wired that way. Of course, there are some individuals that are consciously making an effort not to do that, but they are in the minority. The reality of our world is that being attractive matters a lot. And there are a few things that are less attractive than a crooked smile. There is a good reason why people with crooked smiles have self-confidence issues to start with, as they are being reminded of their faults every single day.
It might be that a cashier at a store looked at you in a certain way, or that someone turned their head around when they saw your crooked teeth. Situations like these make it harder to maintain a healthy state of mind and form good relationships. Of course, your friends are your friends because of who you are and not how you look but making new friends is much easier if you correct your smile. It is the sad truth but there it is. Furthermore, having a healthy smile is attractive in its own right. You have most likely felt attracted to someone just for the way that they smile, at least once in your life.
Furthermore, braces can help with a variety of speech impediments that are linked to jaw movements. Overcrowded or crooked teeth can also make pronunciation much harder, as the tongue cannot move freely. By correcting your teeth, you are essentially “freeing” your tongue to operate as it should. As difficult as it may be to cope with dental anxiety, it is more than worth it. Being able to express yourself more easily makes it easier to connect with others.
Prevention of gum diseases
Prevention of gum diseases is, perhaps, the most significant one of the long-term health benefits of braces. If you don’t happen to know what gum disease is, it is an infection of the tissue that surrounds the teeth. You may have heard it under its other name – gingivitis. It is a fairly common condition, as almost 50% of the U.S. population has it in one shape or form.
By wearing braces and correcting your teeth, you are removing most of the root causes of gingivitis. The food that you eat will have fewer “hiding” places, allowing for easier brushing of teeth and easier bacteria removal. Braces will help you even your teeth, enabling you to brush and floss them much more effectively. Over time, the amount of food that gets trapped between the teeth is significantly reduced by wearing braces, meaning that the bacteria do not have the time to multiply and infect the gums.
Prevention of bone erosion
Your gums are not the only ones that can be affected by having crooked/overcrowded teeth. The bones that hold those very teeth in place are also in danger. Over time, bacteria can “eat away” the bone itself, wearing it down and eroding it. The most common cause of bone erosion are misaligned teeth, meaning that wearing braces all but eliminates the possibility of it happening.
How does bone erosion occur, you may ask? It is very simple, every tooth is embedded in the jawbone via a long root. When bacteria penetrate the gums and work their way to the bone, erosion occurs. Furthermore, the fact that teeth misalignment creates pockets of space for bacteria to “hide” in further exacerbates the issue. Wearing braces and achieving a straight smile is how you minimize the chances of all of this happening. Braces will prevent bone erosion by making sure that the entire jawbone gets plenty of exercise, as well as by eliminating these bacteria hiding spots.
You are still going to pay attention to how you brush and floss, of course. But simply by the virtue of having straight teeth, you will minimize the chances of bone erosion.
Smaller risk of damaged/chipped teeth
Having a crooked smile or misaligned teeth poses a significant risk of teeth chipping and damage to your teeth over time. When not all of your teeth get an equal amount of “practice”, those teeth that do most of the work are in danger of being chipped and damaged. What braces do is allow you to utilize all your teeth equally when you bite and chew. That spreads the force on all of the teeth and makes chipping or damaging them much less likely.
Then there is the fact that any protruding teeth are a liability in case of any accidents. Any accident that involves the mouth (car accident, falling accident, etc.) can be much more dangerous if you have any protruding teeth. Protruding teeth do not have a stable base to being with, which makes them much more susceptible to breakage/chipping from any injuries. A person that has either an underbite or overbite is much more likely to break their teeth in a simple accident than the one who had their smile corrected by braces.
While you may think that you will not fall victim to any mouth-related injuries, you simply cannot know what will happen in the future. When considering the long-term health benefits of braces, making it less likely that your teeth will get damaged is a big boon indeed.
Better quality of life
Having a straight smile brings numerous “small” improvements to one’s quality of life. After correcting your teeth, you will find that you are biting your tongue and gums much less frequently, for one. Some people may also experience their breathing problems going away, and some people might never experience them in the first place due to the timely correction.
Another fact is that by wearing braces and correcting your teeth, oral hygiene is going to become much easier. There will be less pain when eating and brushing your teeth, and you can smile and enjoy your daily life much easier. Most people choose to wear braces due to cosmetic reasons but having a straight smile is so much more than that. It is the little things that really matter, things that you might not even consider to be a priority. Once you get your straight smile, you start to understand how much better your life suddenly is.
Improvements to your digestive health
Most of the time, misalignment of the teeth influences what you eat. Meaning that it also influences how you digest your food. Having an underbite, overbite, or a crossbite makes it much more difficult to bite and chew, all but forcing you not to chew your food properly. When you do not want to chew due to pain or discomfort, chances are that you are not going to chew all that much. That, or avoid any chewy food, which can further exacerbate digestive issues.
The problem with not chewing your food is the fact that your digestive system might not be able to “keep up”. Most people that do not chew properly experience bowel irritation and intestinal distress, as well as find it difficult to feel sated after a meal.
By wearing braces and correcting your teeth, you will remove the pain and discomfort that you associate with chewing. This will make you chew your food properly and help out the digestive system. You may be amazed at how much difference chewing food properly can make.
Tooth decay prevention
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria eat at the surface enamel of your teeth. As mentioned previously, misaligned teeth create places for bacteria to fester and multiply. We mentioned already that this can cause gum disease but it can also contribute to tooth decay. Most of the long-term health benefits of braces are connected to the fact that it is much easier to keep your teeth clean. Having a straight smile is great and all, but it is the “ease of access” to your teeth that will improve your overall oral health. Being able to clean your teeth more easily is a huge improvement and can prevent numerous complications down the proverbial road.
By utilizing braces and correcting your teeth, you will ensure that you are able to clean all parts of the teeth. This prevents bacteria buildup and minimizes the chances of tooth decay.
Lastly, simple bite correction can make all the difference between having frequent toothaches/headaches and living a normal, pain-free, life. A bad bite (also referred to as malocclusion) occurs when your upper and lower teeth are not aligned properly. Meaning that they do not meet as they should. This condition makes it very difficult to chew your food by creating discomfort and/or pain and can cause numerous health issues such as locked jaw syndrome, pain, and headaches. According to NIH, about 20% of the population does not have an ideal bite. Teeth braces are designed with two main purposes: Moving your teeth into a better position and correcting your bite. Simply by utilizing braces and correcting your teeth, you will avoid any of the issues that come with a bad bite.
Almost four million people in the U.S. wear braces at any given time. Most of them think of cosmetic improvements but some consider the long-term health benefits of braces as well. All get to benefit, though. Whether you are wearing traditional braces or invisible braces, the fact that you are correcting your smile is what is most important. And if you want to easily figure out what braces are best for your situation, all you need to do is explore and browse the Consumer Opinion Guide. We will provide you with all the information you might need!