12 Health Reasons to Get Braces: It’s Not Just about a Beautiful Smile!
Braces aren’t just about correcting your smile — although that’s clearly important. It’s also vital to know the health reasons for getting braces. They range from how teeth can be misaligned to what those misalignments can cause.
Tooth Misalignment and Health
The primary reasons for getting braces are to correct a misaligned bite or handle spacing issues with teeth. These break down as follows:
With an overbite, your top teeth sit in front of your bottom teeth. The severity of the overbite will vary from person to person; the further away your upper teeth are, the more likely you’ll experience dental issues. If left untreated, a pronounced overbite can lead to front teeth and gum damage. It can also cause wear on the lower teeth, as well as painful jaw and joint problems.
Underbites are the opposite issue of overbites — your bottom teeth overlap your top teeth. You can also see an underbite when you smile. In mild cases, you may not notice it. However, if an underbite goes untreated, it can cause a variety of eating and speech issues, as well as tooth wear and jaw and joint issues.
3. Open Bite
An open bite is when you have an open space at the front or sides of your teeth when you bite. This gap is visible when they smile and notice the gap between the top and bottom of their teeth. Open bites can cause difficulty chewing and speaking and can lead to painful TMJ issues.
With a crossbite, your top and bottom teeth are out of alignment, so one or more upper teeth bite down on the inside of the lower teeth. This can affect a single tooth or groups of teeth and can happen on both the front and the sides of the mouth. A crossbite can cause wear, bone loss, and gum disease.
Gaps or spaces between teeth can be caused by missing teeth or teeth that are proportionally small compared to the rest of your mouth. They can also come from abnormal jawbone growth. And these spaces between teeth can collect food particles which then get stuck, creating a greater risk for gum disease.
Teeth can be too close together when you don’t have enough room on your jaw for all of them. When this happens, the teeth can overlap and push each other out of alignment. And these tight spaces can mean particles get stuck, leading to plaque, cavities, and gingivitis.
Specific Health Issues from Misaligned Bites
Now that you know the many ways a bite can be misaligned, let’s look at the health issues these misalignments can cause. You may be surprised at how much your bite alignment affects your health!
7. Tooth Decay
As we’ve mentioned, it’s harder to brush and floss misaligned teeth. This can cause more cavities and the need for dental work, like fillings and root canals. Plus, bacteria and plaque can cause your gums to recede, bleed, or become swollen. If left untreated, this can lead to tooth loss — and dentures later in life.
8. Jaw Pain
When your bite is out of alignment, your jaw muscles have to work harder than they should. This can cause jaw pain, headaches, fatigue, sinus pain, and muscle spasms. If left untreated, this can also develop into TMJ, which can be incredibly painful to the jaw and surrounding muscles and ligaments.
9. Breathing Problems
Misaligned teeth can cause your jaw to be improperly positioned, which can reduce the size of your airway and lead to breathing problems. Often, this means breathing from your mouth, which can develop into snoring and more serious sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
10. Speech Problems
Problems like whistling when you talk, lisping, slurring your speech, or stuttering can all result from misaligned teeth. This is often because of an abnormal teeth-tongue placement. An overbite is a common cause of lisping — and an open bite, large spaces between teeth, or excessive tooth wear can all affect speech clarity.
11. Chewing and Eating Difficulties
When you have misaligned teeth — particularly an open bite — it becomes difficult to bite into things or chew food properly. This may cause you to remove certain healthy foods from your diet altogether. Also, not chewing food thoroughly can lead to digestive issues like bloating, stomach pain, or gas.
12. Other Diseases
Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body — and if your mouth isn’t healthy, it can lead to disease in other areas. A misaligned bite can lead to bad oral health and, eventually, gum disease. And gum disease has been linked to many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, pneumonia, and more.
Bonus Health Reason to Get Braces:
Mental health is just as important as physical health — and a straight, beautiful smile can improve your self-esteem. Studies show that dental disorders, including misaligned teeth, had a major impact on how people perceived their level of attractiveness. And that lack of confidence then affected their quality of life in every area, including careers and relationships.
The Good News
We know — we’ve shared a LOT of information about the health reasons to get braces, and it may be a bit overwhelming.
The good news is that braces can resolve any misalignment, and improve so many aspects of your health in the process.
Plus, getting braces may be easier and more affordable than you think. It starts with a free, no-obligation consultation with our Board-Certified Orthodontist, Dr. David Taylor.
Your consultation begins with a thorough examination and a precise assessment of your oral health. We then take the time to explain your treatment options, answer your questions, and make sure you’re comfortable with your care.
Yes, You CAN Have a Straight, Beautiful, and Healthy Smile!
A Perfect Smile Orthodontics serves McAllen and the entire Rio Grande Valley.
Get Started Now!
Call us at 956.630.6166, or complete the form below now!