What are the Benefits of Braces and Invisalign Besides a Beautiful Smile?
Take a look at our braces and Invisalign before and after pictures and you’ll immediately notice the beautiful smiles. Of course, straightening your teeth has cosmetic benefits, which are important, because the confidence that comes along with loving your smile can be life changing. However, fixing improperly aligned teeth or a problem with your bite is more than just aesthetic. Getting straight teeth with braces or Invisalign can have a significant impact on your oral and overall health.
In this post, our Shorewood and Naperville orthodontists will cover 8 key benefits of orthodontic treatment besides achieving a stunning smile. Straightening your teeth:
Reduces Your Risk of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Patients sometimes ask, “Do straight teeth matter?” The answer is, yes! Straight teeth do matter, because crooked or crowded teeth are harder to effectively brush and floss. When you’re not able to completely eliminate dental plaque, it hardens into tartar, which can’t be removed at home with just a toothbrush and dental floss.
The bacteria in the plaque and tartar leach minerals from the enamel, which will eventually cause tooth decay, or cavities. The bacteria can also infect the gum tissue, causing gingivitis.
If gingivitis is not treated, the gums may pull away from the teeth and create pockets. The pockets give bacteria even more places to hide and can lead to periodontitis, the severe form of gum disease. Untreated periodontitis is a leading cause of tooth loss and jaw bone loss in adults.
Getting properly aligned, straight teeth with braces or Invisalign will ensure you can brush and floss with ease and eliminate more plaque. Ultimately, this will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums and excellent oral health.
Helps You Chew Properly and Improves Digestion
Digestion starts in your mouth and relies on properly chewing your food. When your teeth or bite (the way the upper and lower teeth fit together) aren’t aligned, you can have difficulty biting and/or chewing and may find yourself avoiding certain healthy foods.
Over time, as the teeth that bear the brunt of your chewing forces wear down and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) weakens, chewing can even become painful, leading to nutritional deficiencies. Since the food might not be properly broken down in your mouth by your teeth, it may also take longer to work its way through your digestive system.
Encourages Good Overall Health
Another benefit of Invisalign and braces is that treatment encourages good overall health. This ties into the two points above. First, having straight teeth reduces your risk of gum disease. Advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, can cause inflammation and even secondary infections in other parts of the body. In fact, it’s been tied to a host of inflammatory conditions including arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease and respiratory illnesses, among others. By preventing gum disease and the related conditions, you’re not just achieving optimal oral health, you’re also achieving better body health.
Second, being able to chew correctly, eat a wide variety of healthy foods, including those crunchy, raw veggies, and properly digest the food, will ensure you get all of your necessary vitamins and minerals. This too is a boon for your overall health and wellness.
Helps You Speak More Clearly
Problems including an overbite, open bite and gaps between the teeth can impact your or your child’s speech by causing a lisp or whistling noise and making it difficult to produce certain speech sounds like /t/, /n/, and /b/. Additionally, when the size or position of the jaw restricts the tongue, it can even make speech sound slurred. Orthodontic treatment will help you speak more clearly and create the ideal conditions, so that you’re able to articulate all speech sounds.
Opens the Airway
Sometimes, a problem with facial development can restrict the airway and make it hard for a child to breathe through their nose, leading to mouth breathing. Mouth breathing can then create further problems with the way the facial structures develop, resulting in moderate to severe malocclusion (improper bite) and issues like snoring and sleep apnea.
Having your child evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7 (the age recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists) allows Dr. Ibrahim and Dr. Gin to pinpoint developmental abnormalities early on, while a child is still growing. With a two-phase treatment plan, they can use certain appliances to guide jaw and facial growth in phase 1, known as dentofacial orthopedics.
Then, after a resting period, the child will start phase 2 treatment where we fine-tune the bite and alignment of the teeth with braces or Invisalign. Phase 2 typically happens in the teenage years. Early intervention with a two-phase approach can correct airway problems and help your child get the best outcome.
That’s not to say it’s too late to fix airway issues in adulthood. While there is a chance an adult would need corrective jaw surgery, in more cases than ever before, braces or Invisalign are effective without surgery.
Maintains the Strength and Stability of the Jawbone
As we noted before, gum disease can spread to the teeth-supporting bone and cause bone loss and tooth loss. By reducing your risk of gum disease with orthodontic treatment, you reduce your risk of bone loss too.
Bone loss can also occur when there are large spaces or gaps between the teeth, because the bone where the gaps are isn’t being stimulated by chewing and is resorbed by the body.
Misaligned teeth can put too much pressure on the jawbone as well, which may also lead to bone erosion. Having straight teeth will combat this to preserve the strength and stability of your jaw. Since your jawbone supports your facial features, preventing bone loss prevents facial sagging too.
May Help With Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Having misaligned teeth and jaws can make some people more prone to teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism) and/or exacerbate the problem. When that’s the case, another of the benefits of braces or Invisalign treatment is that it can reduce or stop bruxism. Treating teeth grinding is important because the behavior causes damage to the teeth, orofacial pain and, potentially, temporomandibular joint issues.
Supports TMJ Health and Alleviates Pain
Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are referred to as temporomandibular disorders (TMD) or a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). TMJ pain and dysfunction is sometimes caused by misaligned teeth and jaws. When the bite is off, it puts stress on the TMJ and related chewing muscles, possibly resulting in TMD and the associated jaw pain, stiffness, jaw locking, popping noises, facial and ear pain, headaches and neck aches.
Achieving straight teeth with braces or Invisalign, as well as a stable bite, will support the health of your TMJ, jawbone and muscles. In some cases, this will prevent or alleviate TMD and help you regain maximum function. It will also reduce the other related issues, such as headaches and stiffness.
Straight Teeth are Just the Start
To get the full benefits of braces or Invisalign, it’s important to visit an experienced orthodontist. At Innovative Orthodontic Centers, our orthodontists aren’t just leaders in their field, they also use cutting-edge diagnostics and 3D, computerized treatment planning. This lets them get to the root of your misalignment and create a truly custom smile for you. Since shifting the teeth also changes your bite, they create a detail-oriented, holistic braces or Invisalign treatment plan that accounts for the teeth, jaw and facial structure as a whole.
When designing your smile, Dr. Ibrahim and Dr. Gin can move teeth directly on a digital model, letting them see how they’ll fit together from every angle and all three planes of space. They can visualize potential outcomes and make adjustments until they’ve created a smile that complements your unique dental and facial features and anatomy. The end result will be straight teeth, an aligned bite and optimal oral health and function.
Your Teeth-Straightening Options
Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of straight teeth, let’s talk about how to actually straighten the teeth. At Innovative Orthodontic Centers, we offer:
Self-Ligating Metal and Clear Braces with SureSmile® Prescription Wires –
Our self-ligating metal braces and clear braces feature innovative brackets that are smaller and more streamlined than conventional brackets. The brackets use free-sliding technology to guide teeth gently into place with little to no pressure. Since they don’t require elastics or metal ties, they’re less noticeable and easier to keep clean. While even our metal braces are unobtrusive, our clear braces will blend in with your smile for an even more discreet option.
Our self-ligating brackets are paired with custom SureSmile archwires. After creating a precise virtual treatment plan, your wires are robotically bent for incredible accuracy based on Dr. Ibrahim or Dr. Gin’s specifications. The prescription wires help your teeth take a more direct path to their final destinations and can reduce your braces treatment by an average of 29%!
Invisalign for All Ages
– As a Diamond+ Top 1% Invisalign Provider, we’re among the top 1% of Invisalign providers in North America when it comes to case experience. Thanks to this expertise, every patient is a candidate for Invisalign at our practice.
If you want to straighten your teeth without braces, we offer Invisalign for kids, teens and adults, as well as Invisalign with Mandibular Advancement (MA). The smooth, BPA-free clear aligners are comfortable, virtually invisible and removable. There are no food restrictions and oral hygiene is a breeze.
Because of our extensive upfront treatment planning, the aligners’ SmartTrack® material and tools like VPro+™, you can finish your treatment up to 50% sooner while getting better Invisalign results.
Book a Complimentary Consultation With a Shorewood or Naperville Orthodontist
Are you ready to get straight teeth with braces or Invisalign and enjoy the cosmetic, oral health and overall health benefits of treatment? Schedule a complimentary consultation at Innovative Orthodontic Centers in Shorewood or Naperville, IL today!