While many patients associate an attractive-looking smile with orthodontic treatment, some may be surprised to learn that straight teeth and a properly aligned bite are important to maintaining good oral health. Dr. Dixon Taylor, a California-based orthodontist, offers insight on the health benefits of orthodontic correction.
Using braces and orthodontic appliances to straighten teeth helps promote oral hygiene. Patients with crooked and crowded teeth are susceptible to developing caries because misaligned teeth are difficult to thoroughly clean when flossing and brushing. Moreover, malocclusions and crooked teeth can negatively impact jawbone and gum health.
Another health problem associated with a misaligned bite is the development of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD). Because malocclusions strain the jawbone and surrounding ligaments, patients can experience discomfort when speaking and eating, a common symptom of TMD. Migraines and neck pain are also commonly associated with TMJ dysfunction.
By aligning teeth and a patient’s bite, orthodontists can prevent a myriad of oral health problems including periodontal disease, cavities, and bone deterioration. Even though orthodontic treatment is normally recommended for adolescents, many dentists such as Dixon Taylor, DDS, treat adults as well.