The Specialist

Benefits to wearing braces

Braces are placed by orthodontists and experienced dentists to straighten teeth, fix bad bites and improve your overall smile. What you may not know is that braces do more to enhance your overall health and quality of life.

There are advantages to wearing braces. The following are several reasons braces are required:

Overbite: This occurs when your top jaw extends in front of your lower jaw.

Underbite: This is just the opposite; when your lower jaw extends in front of the upper jaw.

Open bite: If a person’s teeth are closed and there is a space or gap between the upper and lower front teeth this is considered an open bite. This is mostly associated with tongue thrusting or finger sucking habits.

Spacing: If there are wide spaces in between your teeth; this spacing can be a cosmetic and functional challenge. If teeth are widely spaced apart, food particles can get stuck and collect on your gums to cause bad breath, cavities and other dental issues.

Crowding: This is one of the most common reasons people need braces. Crowding causes the teeth nearby to overlap. Fixing crowded teeth can do wonders toward improving the appearance of your smile. Also, correcting your crowded teeth can help you avoid cavities. Dental plaque loves to hide where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Once you straighten your teeth, plaque won’t be able to hide as easily. Fortunately, braces can help align teeth properly, so you can have an easier time brushing and flossing in between your teeth. Without the straightening power of braces, food will be more easily lodged in between teeth, causing gum disease and cavities.

Braces help prevent gum disease: Gum disease is responsible for most tooth loss in adults. Gum disease causes severe bad breath and damage to the bone responsible for anchoring the teeth. Also, gum disease negatively affects your overall health. The germs causing gum disease worsen medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and low birth weight babies.

Braces help prevent tooth decay: Tooth decay is still the most common disease among children and some adults. Cavities are still a public health crisis in The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Tooth decay is caused by bacterial accumulation around crowded teeth because patients have difficulty cleaning their teeth. Furthermore, the bacteria buildup in tiny crevices on the tooth causes acid to build up. This acid buildup eventually causes the enamel of your teeth to wear down. The enamel is like a barrier that protects your teeth. Without it, even more serious issues can arise besides tooth decay.

Braces help with digestion: If your teeth are severely malaligned, it could affect the ability to chew and properly digest food. Without straight teeth, your mouth can’t chew food into teeny-tiny bits. Your stomach has an easier time digesting small bits of food than large chunks. With proper teeth alignment, the ability to enjoy a good quality of life cannot be overstated.

When teeth don’t bite together properly, one can experience problems with eating. Also, this makes your jaw tired, which eventually leads to early tooth loss. Braces help to realign these upper and lower parts of your mouth.

Braces enhance self-esteem: While braces are important for your health, they play a key role in building self-confidence. They move teeth into a more natural position and one that is more proportional to your face. Braces help to create a welcoming smile.

Braces help with speech improvement: Teeth that are not straightened make it harder for one to pronounce particular sounds. Straightening teeth with braces significantly improves the way you sound out words.

There are many benefits to getting braces. Straight teeth not only help with a welcoming smile, it also helps with your overall oral health. I believe this is something worth smiling about.

 Dr. Kendal V.O. Major is the founder and CEO of the Center for Specialized Dentistry, which is a comprehensive family dental practice operating in New Providence and Grand Bahama. He is the first Bahamian specialist in gum diseases and dental implants since 1989. He is also a certified fast braces provider. His practice is located at 89 Collins Avenue, New Providence. He can be contacted at (242) 325-5165 or 

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