Your Guide to Better Oral Health

8 Benefits of Braces Treatment

Written by Dr. Wong Jia Wen. Medically reviewed by Dr. Cheryl Ooi. 

Orthodontic treatment has been a trend in the society that we live in. It is known to make our smiles more aesthetic and pleasing as we show our teeth. We all want that perfect smile that will reflect a good impression on others, even strangers. Teeth can be the first thing that we see for a perfect first impression. And we know how important first impressions can be. 

The word ‘Orthodontics’ originated in Greece. The word ‘Orthos’ means correct or straight whereas ‘Dontos’ means teeth. How exactly can orthodontics in the famous dentistry world benefit us? Follow along as we explore the several reasons how braces treatment can change our lives from the inside out. 

1. Improve chewing

Happy asian woman eating a burger outdoors Free Photo

Our teeth work in a lock and key mechanism that enable us to cut our food into tiny pieces for us to digest and absorb into our system. When they are in the normal alignment, we tend to chew more efficiently. On the other hand, if we experience malocclusion, whereby our upper molars are not aligned with lower molars, we may not be serving the best purpose of our set of teeth. To elucidate, Edward H. Angel, also known as ‘Father of Orthodontist’ reiterated in 1899 that a normal occlusion is created when there is a right relationship between upper and lower teeth. As a result, our teeth sit together perfectly and work in harmony. 

A good set of teeth enhances our ability to chew and digest daily food into nutrients, and subsequently prevent us from many problems like malnutrition and digestive problems like heartburn, acid reflux and constipation. To attain a good set of teeth with normal alignment, braces treatment can help to move teeth into anatomically desired positions. 

2. Help with speech impairment

People have their reasons to do braces. Whilst some are looking for aesthetics only, others may be struggling with their daily activities such as the ability to speak. Many factors can contribute to difficulty in certain pronunciations. For instance, consonants such as ‘f’ and ‘v’ can be quite tricky sometimes. Teeth problems like having excessive upper teeth overlapping the lower teeth, also known as deep bite can result in whistling or lisping. According to a research by American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, a gap of 2mm or more between upper and lower teeth, also known as open bite, is closely related to sound production errors. 

The good news is, braces can help fix these problems! Braces treatment provides excellent reassurance of improved teeth alignment. In other words, it will make you speak more efficiently with confidence. Although braces treatment may improve your speech performance, professional help like speech therapy can certainly be good to go if there are more severe speech impediments beyond what braces can do. 

3. Easier to maintain oral hygiene

Premium Photo | Asian man brushing teeth at bathroom in the morning

Ever since we were kids, our parents taught us the importance of teeth brushing. It is the same old habit that we pass on from generation to generation, morning and night without question. The main function of teeth brushing is to brush away the remnants of our food intake so that we do not end up building tartars between our teeth. Imagine straight and crooked teeth, which do you think will accumulate more food debris in between? If you are experiencing misalignment of teeth, such as crowding, more teeth surfaces will meet other teeth surfaces and it might be challenging to clean the food being stuck in between the teeth. 

However, if you achieve straighter teeth by orthodontic intervention, there will be more promising oral hygiene in the long run. With simple oral hygiene instructions like flossing, teeth brushing, mouth rinsing, and regular dental check-ups, there will be no issue in maintaining excellent oral hygiene. Always keep in mind that oral health is part of your general well-being. 

4. Avoid cavities and periodontal disease

Hole in Gums: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the key. Straighter teeth allow a better cleansing system by routine brushing and saliva buffering. Without that, our teeth are vulnerable and unable to sustain vitality. Acidified pH levels in the oral environment as a result of prolonged food accumulation can cause the weakening of tooth surfaces and cavities. This condition turns out to be irreversible if they are being noticed at the later stages. To that end, teeth with cavities need to be restored or even worse, to be extracted by a dentist due to poor prognosis. Braces treatment allows our teeth cleaning process to be simplified by achieving straighter and better teeth alignment. 

Moreover, the gums surrounding teeth will be healthier as tartar will be less likely to be accumulated as compared to crowded teeth. As our teeth are being held into position by gums, also known as the gingiva, a healthy surface at the neck of the tooth is crucial. Attachment between teeth and gums will be lost in poor oral hygiene, creating a hole, also known as a deep pocket. Inevitably, a deep pocket can contribute to loose teeth or worse, the falling of teeth. This can be a nightmare! To avoid all these, braces intervention can reduce the chances of getting unwanted cavities and gum diseases.  

5. Reduce grinding and chipping of teeth

What is dental erosion? - North Street Dental

Grinding of teeth is also known as bruxism. It is the unwanted clenching movement of teeth that results in loss of teeth structure. In mild cases, one will not feel any pain or sensitivity as the structure being lost is fairly on the upper enamel layer of teeth. In dental terms, this kind of teeth chipping is known as attrition. It can be treated easily by your dentist with restorative materials as a replacement for your enamel. Conversely, prolonged and untreated chipping of teeth will result in large and deep holes in teeth that might cause the exposure of bacteria into the deeper layer of teeth. Our body will subsequently activate the defence mechanism to produce signs and symptoms such as pain, pus discharge, and swollen gum as a warning signal of unwanted visitors in our body system. Complicated and expensive dental treatments like root canal treatment and crowning will be required for a better prognosis. 

However, if the grinding habit is mainly caused by abnormal teeth alignment, for example; excessive upper teeth overlapping the lower teeth, crooked teeth, and even protruding upper or lower teeth, preventive orthodontics treatment has to be implemented. Orthodontic intervention at an early stage can certainly be a solution to your problem if you experience any of the mentioned dental problems. 

6. Prevent the risk of injury from protruding teeth

Martinez Orthodontics's Smile Gallery | Protruding teeth as a result of  parafunctional habits

Prevention is better than cure. According to a publication by International Association for Dental Traumatology in 2019, children below six years old with protruding teeth more than 3mm experience dental trauma three times higher than those with normal teeth alignment. A dental condition such as buck teeth, as known as an increased overjet is when the upper teeth are protruding more than 3.5mm horizontally forward. Contributing factors for the formation of increased overjet are genetic, childhood habits like finger sucking, tongue thrusting, etc. As a result, teeth move away and misalignment such as protruding teeth is formed. In certain trauma origins, some cases may even deteriorate to life-threatening conditions such as abnormal tissue growth and tooth infections. This condition poses a serious threat, especially when one is active in physical outdoor activities such as football, netball, badminton, etc. 

It should be noted that this problem is very common and can be easily treated by braces treatment if being identified by your dentist. Instituting preventive strategies like braces treatment will eventually save the child or even the adult from unwanted accidents that are utterly avoidable. 

7. Improve appearance to restore confidence

Although aesthetic appearance should not be the gold standard for well-prepared job interviews or opportunities, we cannot deny how it may influence our inner self-confidence in achieving greater heights in our careers. We carry our smiles every day in our lives as we speak, eat and talk. Bad smiles due to serious dental problems can be detrimental to our mental, as well as physical well-being. Straighter and cleaner teeth not only can restore our beauty outside, but they can also help to prevent many dental problems that may lead to psychological alteration due to the extensive effect, for example, toothache and teeth mobility. 

In 2007, British Dental Journal released a study with patients aged thirteen to fifteen regarding the impact of malocclusion on the quality of life. This study revealed that dental problems such as increased overjet and spaced teeth have a significant impact on both the children’s and their families’ quality of life. Most significantly, this may be carried to their adolescent lives, making them unable to be the best version of themselves. Complete coverage of inner and outer beauty works hand in hand in restoring confidence and self-esteem. One can certainly look so much younger and beautiful by straightening crooked teeth or adjusting an excessive open bite. Hence, braces treatment is well accepted and reasonable to begin with by anyone regardless of age.

8. Aesthetic benefits of invisible braces

Conventional methods of braces treatment consist of metals and wires that may be impossible not to be noticed by others. It was designed to move our teeth to different directions by force in order to correct a malocclusion. By contrast, invisible braces treatment is rather a revolutionary idea to correct smiles. It can almost be passed unnoticed by others with the clear and light aligner material customised just for the wearer. With a similar theory behind orthodontics in dentistry, the invisible braces treatment helps to shift teeth into desired positions effortlessly. One gets to smile without extra burden throughout the entire makeover  process. 

Other benefits of invisible braces

Invisible braces can also allow us to have a better cleansing system in the mouth that can indirectly impact after-treatment care. Dental problems in conventional braces that are caused by the strong attachment of metal brackets on teeth surfaces may lead to less cleaning ability. Subsequently, it may result in dental cavities and discolouration of teeth, especially in individuals with poor oral hygiene. With invisible braces, all these dental problems may be avoided. 

Moreover, the removable invisible braces can allow easier care for oral hygiene. Simple oral hygiene instructions to be practised at home like flossing and brushing can help to maintain good oral health. Furthermore, invisible braces ensure safety and comfort to the wearer with almost no interference in daily routine while eating and talking. With a minimum period of the treatment process, invisible braces transform smiles to be more radiant and attractive. 

Conclusion

In summary, the benefits of braces treatment far surpass cosmetic appearance. Whether you are struggling with medical or cosmetic-related dental problems, you should visit the dentist for the right prescription and treatment plan. The ultimate goal of working together with your dentist is to attain a balance between physiological, social, and functional positive effects on yourself. Achieving that desired smile is just a dental check-up away! What are you waiting for?

Key Takeaways

  • Braces treatment improves the quality of life.
  • Invisible braces in orthodontics is a revolutionary idea in the dentistry world with an improved formula of make-over prescription to grant you a radiant and healthy smile. 

References 

  1. Arraj, G. P., Rossi‐Fedele, G., & Doğramacı, E. J. (2019). The association of overjet size and traumatic dental injuries—A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Dental Traumatology35(4–5), 217–232.
  2. Johal, A., Cheung, M. Y. H., & Marcenes, W. (2007). The impact of two different malocclusion traits on quality of life. British Dental Journal, 202(2), E6.
  3. Leavy, K. M., Cisneros, G. J., & LeBlanc, E. M. (2016). Malocclusion and its relationship to speech sound production: Redefining the effect of malocclusal traits on sound production. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, 150(1), 116–123.
  4. Adnan, Y. (2014). Positive Effects for Patients Seeking Orthodontic Treatment. Journal of International Dental and Medical Research, 1(3)

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