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How Braces Improve Oral Health

Braces are a very common way of improving the alignment, appearance and structure of your teeth. Traditionally, metal brackets are used in order to correct the bite. However, Invisalign braces are popular as well. They are made of clear plastic and are removed while eating. In either case significant improvement can often be obtained in as little as six months.

Braces And Oral Health

Traditionally, and for the most efficacy, braces are applied between the ages of ten and fourteen, as the teeth and jaw are still developing and therefore are more malleable. For those who didn’t get the chance to have braces as a child, there are options for adult braces. Invisalign, is often the choice of those who want their braces to be less noticeable.

There are several problems that braces can correct, including:

  • Overbite: The top teeth jut forward and overlap over the bottom teeth
  • Underbite: The bottom teeth overlap the top
  • Crowding: Teeth have grown in too close together, which can necessitate tooth extraction
  • Spacing: Teeth have grown in with excessive and uneven spaces, which impairs function
  • Crossbite: Poor alignment of the upper and lower jaw

While it’s clear that braces improve the appearance and structure of your teeth, there are also many reasons why braces are beneficial to your oral health. Teeth that are overcrowded or unevenly spaced can make it easier for food to become stuck between them. Teeth that are crooked can mean that these spots are difficult to reach while brushing or flossing. This can lead to tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease. Straight teeth are much easier to floss and keep clean and healthy.

Structural issues of the teeth and jaw can lead to even more serious problems. A misaligned jaw can mean poor jaw function, which can cause problems when eating or speaking. Over time, this can lead to muscle and joint tension around the jaw and face, which can create chronic pain.

Braces work by guiding the teeth and jaw back into alignment, which can drastically improve oral health. Comprehensive orthodontics may be necessary in cases of severe misalignment, but for limited goals, short term braces are a great way to improve oral health, as well as the appearance and structure of your front teeth.

Mar 13, 2017 by
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