Having braces isn’t just about being happy with the way your smile looks, although that is an important part. Orthodontic therapy has many other benefits that improve your oral health and quality of life. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider braces, even if you’re an adult:
Manage TMJ Disorders
TMJ disorder is sometimes caused by an improper biting relationship of the upper and lower jaws. This causes the TMJ to be compromised during biting and chewing throughout the day. Over time, strain to the joint begins to cause discomfort, swelling, and even internal damage to the ligaments and muscles that surround it. Correcting the bite relationship allows the TMJ to function without excess strain; thus eliminating side effects like pain, headaches, and disorders of the jaw.
Combat Gum Disease
Crowded and crooked teeth are extremely susceptible to gum disease. Why? Because plaque and food easily build up in areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush or floss. As a result, these misaligned teeth quickly develop gingivitis around them, which progresses to the point where the gums actually start detaching from the tooth. These deep pockets cause more bacterial buildup, causing the condition to spiral out of control. Bone loss begins to take place, causing teeth to become mobile and even fall out. Straightening the teeth will make oral hygiene efforts more productive, and gum disease easier to combat. In fact, orthodontic therapy is regarded as an essential part of periodontal therapy for some patients.
Prevent Tooth Wear and Damaged Restorations
If pressure is distributed unevenly across your teeth, the enamel can quickly wear away. This can be seen as flat, worn edges along the tops of the teeth, or even gum recession near the necks of the teeth. Fillings and crowns are made to withstand normal wear, but this excessive pressure will also cause them to break down as well. Correcting the alignment of the bite will allow the upper and lower teeth to fit together properly and eliminate the risk of broken fillings and enamel.
Reduce Your Risk of Tooth Decay
As previously mentioned, misaligned teeth are very difficult to keep as clean as straight teeth. This means crooked teeth typically develop more cavities between them, simply because they are not thoroughly cleaned each time you brush. Flossing is essential, but due to the accumulated bacteria throughout the day, crooked teeth may still get cavities even if you’re doing your very best to clean them twice each day.
Teeth that are out of alignment, such as those that jet out at the front of your smile, are much more likely to suffer from an accidental injury. For instance, if you’re playing a game of basketball with friends and get elbowed in the face – jetted out teeth have a high risk of breaking, when straight teeth do not. It can also reduce the risk of lacerated lips and cheeks when the teeth are moved into proper alignment.