One of the biggest misconceptions that many people have is that if they have braces to straighten their teeth and improve their smile, they’ll avoid dental and oral health problems, such as decay, in the future. As great as it would be to guarantee that wearing braces suddenly adds some anti-decay super-power to the teeth, it simply doesn’t. Looking after general dental health is essential at all stages of life. From childhood, the teenage years, and all the way through adulthood, our dental health is important. Decay and other dental health problems can occur to anyone at any time, and straight teeth due to having worn braces isn’t the great panacea.
Here’s what Orthodontics will do for your Oral Health
So, if orthodontics isn’t the cure for all dental health problems, what does it do and how does it actually improve dental health? Well, here are some ways that braces can improve your dental health:
- Cleaner Teeth
OK, so braces aren’t a magic bullet for suddenly getting rid of plaque on your teeth, but straighter teeth do make cleaning easier. How does this work?
The one thing that braces are great at is straightening out crooked teeth. The problem with crooked teeth is that all of the nooks and crannies can be difficult to clean properly with a toothbrush. Once your braces are off and your teeth are straighter, it’s much easier to get in there with a toothbrush and some floss to get rid of all of the food debris and prevent plaque build-up.
- Less Discomfort
Lots of people who have an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, experience pain and aches when eating. Sometimes, this can even affect their speech. These are all great reasons to seek out excellent orthodontic care.
In terms of overall oral health, having a better aligned jaw and teeth will simply make it easier to eat. This means that chewing food is easier and the food itself is broken down more easily by the stomach.
- Dental Check-Ups are Easier
When you have straighter teeth, dental check-ups are actually a lot easier. In practical terms, this means that your dentist will find it easier to see if there are any problems. And when problems are detected early, you can avoid possible complications like root canal treatment.
- A Real Pain in the Jaw
The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a bunch of small muscles and connective tissues that operate the lower jaw. In people who have jaw misalignment, the TMJ can become inflamed, sore, and painful. It can even make an audible clicking sound at times because of the poor alignment of the jaw.
Wearing braces can fix the problem of a poorly aligned jaw and help prevent TMJ discomfort. This means no more pain while eating and talking.
- Relieve Pressure on the Teeth
When your jaw and teeth aren’t aligned properly, there is often extra pressure in the mouth and teeth. This can cause pain and discomfort for some people. Treatment with braces will relieve this pressure and facilitate better oral health.
What about your Long Term Dental Health Outlook?
It’s clear that braces do a wonderful job of straightening teeth, closing gaps, and remodelling the jaw. This results in easier cleaning and flossing, less jaw pain, and easier dental check-ups. However, braces won’t prevent decay, cavities, plaque, and other oral health problems.
Our dental and oral health will change over time as we get older. Medications and other health conditions may precipitate some dental health problems. For example, diabetes increases the risk of developing gum disease. Given that many people are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes every year, it’s certainly important to ensure long term dental health.
Easy ways to Look After your New Smile
Now that you have beautiful straight teeth and can flash that smile around, it’s important to look after your dental health. The last thing you want is to ruin the smile that you worked so hard to get! So, how can you look after your long term dental health after having your braces removed?
- Make Regular Dental Appointments
You might not love doing to the dentist, but regular check-ups are a great way to prevent dental health problems. When you have a check-up, the dentist can see if there are any cracks, cavities, or other issues that need addressing. This is the first step to long term dental health.
- Regular Brushing
If you’ve always brushed twice a day, just keep doing what you’re doing. If you’ve only ever brushed once a day or erratically, now’s the time to start brushing twice each and every day without fail. Many people will also add flossing to their teeth cleaning regime to eliminate food debris and complement brushing.
In addition, also make sure that you use a good quality fluoridated toothpaste. There are a number of toothpastes on the shelf that don’t contain fluoride, but it’s this that helps to harden the enamel on your teeth and protect them.
- Sugar is the Enemy
You might have a sweet tooth, but it might be time to reduce the sugary drinks and chocolates. There are lots of hidden sugars in the foods we buy, and they can cause serious damage to your dental health, not to mention your general health and well-being. Even by cutting your sugar consumption in half, you can make a significant difference, and perhaps even avoid developing Type 2 Diabetes.
The Future of your Dental Health
Braces are an investment in your dental health, your level of confident, and your smile. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that once braces have been worn, they are somehow protected from other dental health issues. This simply isn’t true.
Nice straight teeth and a properly aligned jaw will certainly make things like tooth brushing and dental check-ups easier, but tooth decay doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone if they have poor dental hygiene habits. This is why it’s so important to be aware of your long term dental health and how to look after your teeth properly.
Book a consultation with Evolution Orthodontics to discuss your unique treatment plan.