Dental health is not just about our physical appearance. It also has a direct impact on our mental health. Think about it – when we’re feeling good about ourselves, we smile more often and with greater conviction. We hold our heads up high and feel more confident in social situations.
According to statistics from Humana, around 4 million Americans have braces, with 25% being adults. These numbers are significant because it shows that it’s never too late to improve our smiles! For some people, that means getting braces.
But what does getting braces entail? And what are the benefits of doing so? Braces are not just for kids. In fact, more and more adults are getting them because they provide many long-lasting benefits. Here are five benefits of braces that may surprise you:
1. Improved oral health
Your dental problems can worsen if you don’t have braces when you need them. But when teeth are properly aligned, it’s easier to brush and floss them properly. This helps to remove plaque and bacteria, which can lead to gum disease.
In fact, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with misaligned teeth are three times more likely to develop gum disease. Straighter teeth are also less likely to suffer from tooth decay because they’re easier to keep clean. You can also avoid toothaches caused by overcrowding or improper alignment.
2. A more confident smile
Let’s face it – when our teeth are crooked or misaligned, we may not feel very confident about our smiles. This can lead us to avoid smiling altogether, which can, in turn, make us appear unapproachable or even angry. But when you feel good about your smile, it shows! You’ll be more likely to smile often and with confidence.
In one study, researchers found that when people were shown pictures of others with different dental problems, they rated those with crooked teeth as less attractive, less successful, and even less intelligent. But when they were shown pictures of people with straight teeth, they rated them as more attractive, successful, and smart. This study proves that their dental health heavily influences our perception of others.
3. Better overall posture
Did you know that your teeth can also affect your posture? That’s because when your teeth are properly aligned, the muscles in your jaw and face are also in alignment. This helps to support the bones in your spine, which can, in turn, improve your posture.
On the other hand, when your teeth are misaligned, the muscles in your jaw and face have to work harder to keep them in place. This can lead to tension in your facial muscles and eventually result in poor posture. In fact, one study found that people with poorly aligned teeth were more likely to suffer from back pain than those with straight teeth.
4. Easier to speak clearly
If you have ever had a lisp or difficulty speaking clearly, you may be surprised to know that it could be due to your teeth. When our teeth are properly aligned, we can talk more clearly because the tongue has enough space to move around easily.
But when our teeth are crowded or misaligned, it can impede the tongue’s movement and lead to a lisp. One study found that 69% of children with speech problems had dental problems that needed to be corrected.
5. Prevention of TMJ disorders
TMJ is short for the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. It’s responsible for all the movement in your jaw, including chewing, talking and yawning. When this joint is not functioning correctly, it can lead to several problems, such as pain, clicking, and popping sounds when you move your jaw. This condition is known as TMJ disorder.
TMJ disorders are often caused by teeth that are misaligned or missing. This can cause the muscles and ligaments around the joint to become strained, leading to pain and other symptoms. By getting braces, you can help to prevent TMJ disorders from developing.
When to see your orthodontist?
Most orthodontists recommend that you see them when your child is around seven years old. This is because most orthodontic problems, such as overcrowding and misaligned teeth, occur during this stage of development. And the sooner you start treatment, the easier it will be to correct the problem.
Adults can also benefit from braces. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, 1 in 5 orthodontic patients are adults. If you’re considering getting braces, the best thing is to make an appointment with an orthodontist.
If you neglect your dental health, your teeth may become more crooked. This can lead to many problems such as:
- difficulty cleaning your teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease,
- pain in your jaw or face,
- difficulty chewing or speaking, and
- poor posture.
By getting orthodontic treatment, you can help to prevent these problems from developing. Your orthodontist will assess your individual needs and recommend the best course of treatment to improve the quality of your life. This dental treatment can provide many long-lasting benefits for children and adults.
Get your consultation today
As you can see, braces have many benefits beyond just improving the appearance of your teeth. If you’re considering getting braces, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with an orthodontist for a consultation. While braces may not be for everyone, they can provide several benefits that will bring back your confidence with a smile you can be proud of.