5 Hidden Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
Understanding the Transformative Power of Orthodontics
Orthodontics is a well-known dental treatment that has become almost a rite of passage for teenagers in recent decades. As a result, most people know the basic issues that can cause their child to need orthodontic work done, including gaps in their smile, overcrowding, crookedness, and an overbite or underbite. Most parents also understand that orthodontics straightens misaligned teeth and bites by applying gradual pressure over time using either traditional braces or clear aligner options like Invisalign.
Despite how well-known this treatment is, you may not realize that resolving these issues does so much more than just giving your child a straighter smile—it often has far-reaching positive benefits for their oral and overall health! Orthodontics can even relieve symptoms that you may not have realized were connected to bite issues. If you’re looking into orthodontics and want to understand just how much the treatment could change your child’s daily life, here are five ways this transformative treatment can benefit them.
Prevent More Serious Teeth Problems
Teeth straightening helps prevent a range of more serious oral health problems. When your child’s teeth aren’t even, for example, a blow to the mouth from falling or playing sports can end up exerting more force on the teeth that stick out a little bit in front of the others, which can increase the likelihood of these teeth chipping, cracking, or breaking. Orthodontic treatments straighten your child’s teeth so that they form a continuous, straight line, causing the force from any blows to your child’s mouth to be distributed more evenly across all their teeth. This makes it less likely they’ll suffer a dental injury.
Straightening your child’s teeth can also relieve bruxism, which is when your child habitually clenches or grinds their teeth. This habit can cause dental injuries as well as increased wear on their teeth over time, so putting a stop to it with orthodontics is ideal for their long-term oral health.
Additionally, crooked or overcrowded teeth have a lot of nooks and crannies that are harder for your child to clean properly even when they’re doing their best with their daily oral hygiene routine. These hard-to-clean areas can develop a buildup of bacteria-containing plaque, which can lead to oral health issues like gum disease. Straightening teeth makes them much easier to clean, reducing your child’s chances of developing oral health issues like gum disease. These are both major benefits that will help keep your child’s teeth healthier not just now, but for their entire life!
Improve Eating and Digestion
While we often think about the digestive process starting in our stomachs, the truth is that it begins in the mouth. Chewing is an important step in this process, and when your child is struggling with a misaligned bite, they may have a hard time chewing their food as thoroughly as they should due to discomfort, pain, or even just the way their jaws fit together.
This difficulty can make it harder for your child to digest their food, causing gastrointestinal symptoms like stomach aches and acid reflux that you may not even realize were connected to your child’s malocclusion. It may also cause your child to eat less, which is especially problematic for growing kids. Thankfully, straightening their teeth is a relatively simple solution that can relieve these symptoms, ensuring that eating is as simple and enjoyable as it should be!
Though it might sound strange at first, the position of your child’s jaws also impacts how open their airway is. Orthodontic treatments shift your child’s bite into the naturally ideal position for them—one that relaxes their jaws while keeping their airway as open as possible. Doing this can help improve your child’s breathing, especially if they suffer from issues like sleep apnea or allergies. Not only does it simply feel better to be able to breathe easier in their waking hours, but this can improve your child’s ability to get truly restful sleep at night, too.
Treat Jaw Pain
Malocclusions can put increased stress on the joints of your child’s jaw, which can cause pain in and around the joints of their jaw known as TMJ pain. This pain can make simple tasks like eating and speaking painful and can lead to a range of other symptoms, including frequent headaches and sore or tense muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back. By shifting your child’s bite into the ideal position for them, orthodontics relieves the extra stress on their jaws, allowing them to truly relax. This can reduce or eliminate TMJ symptoms, helping your child feel better in more ways than you likely expected.
Another major benefit of orthodontics is that straightening your child’s teeth and aligning their bite improves the appearance of their smile. Our smiles are a huge part of how we express ourselves to other people, so they play a role not only in how we relate to others and how they see us, but also in how we see ourselves. It’s why people of all ages seek treatments like smile makeovers to restore the smile of their dreams.
As a result, the way that straightening misaligned teeth transforms the appearance of your child’s smile can greatly improve their self-esteem. It can help them feel more confident and comfortable sharing their smile with others—and seeing that happy, confident smile on our kids’ faces alone makes it worth it!
Orthodontics does far more than just transform the appearance of your child’s smile—it can also transform the way they feel every day, giving them the health and confidence to thrive. Even better, your child will be able to benefit from these changes for a lifetime! If you’d like to learn more about Compass Dental Group and the orthodontics that we offer for yourself or your child, feel free to schedule an appointment with us at any time!