What Are The Health Benefits Of Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontics is a special branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of malocclusions, or bad bites. Many people associate orthodontics with braces and consider the cosmetic benefits of straightening teeth first and foremost. However, orthodontics is about much more than repositioning teeth to ensure that a patient can sport their best smile. By improving the placement and positioning of teeth, orthodontists can also relieve discomfort from oral issues, ease chewing and speaking problems, and improve oral health. Common orthodontic treatments include braces, clear aligners like Invisalign®, retainers, and palate expanders, but the field of orthodontics and its treatment methods are expansive, various, and always advancing.
At Hutta & Hutta, we’re committed to being at the forefront of these advancements and using them to help each patient we meet lead a happier, healthier life. With that in mind, we wanted to share a little more about the value of treatment.
Orthodontist vs. dentist: who does what?
Orthodontics and dentistry are closely related, and sometimes they overlap. However, the services an orthodontist usually provides are distinct from those a dentist typically provides. A patient looking to improve their smile, bite, and facial structure would visit an orthodontist’s office, while a patient looking for routine teeth cleaning or help with issues like cavities, crowns, or bridges would visit a dentist’s office. If a patient needed dental implants or surgery, they would see a dentist, oral surgeon, or periodontist. For veneers, a patient could see a general or cosmetic dentist. Both orthodontics and dentistry can address oral discomfort due to structural issues.
Investing in both orthodontics and dentistry is crucial to ensuring oral health and overall wellbeing—make sure you’re a regular at your orthodontist’s office as well as your dentist’s. Your orthodontist will always work closely with your dentist, and they will get to know your dental history in-depth during your treatment.
Why do my teeth need so much attention?
If the eyes are a window into the soul, your mouth is a window into your health—and it is a complex one! Most people have 32 teeth, which are largely hidden beneath our gums. Add to that an estimated 20 billion bacteria in your mouth and a complex system of bones and joints, and you begin to see why your teeth require special attention. Plus, the condition of your mouth and your body are strongly linked. Studies have found that people with gum disease have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
What are the different kinds of orthodontic treatment?
At Hutta & Hutta we are always on the cutting edge of orthodontics and dentistry. We offer Damon Braces, which are the most efficient and effective braces in orthodontics. The Damon System is self-ligating, which eliminates the need for elastics or metal “ties” and is more comfortable than ever before. We also offer Damon Ultima, which allows us to move each tooth even more precisely, and Invisalign, which improves patients’ smiles with a series of discreet, clear aligners.
However, orthodontic treatment doesn’t only start when you’re ready for orthodontic braces. Early care is critical and allows your doctor to identify minor issues before they grow into major orthodontic problems. It might be surprising, but we recommend that your child visit our office at 7 years old for an examination.
What are the health benefits of orthodontic care?
If you’ve ever felt shy about your smile or embarrassed by the appearance of your teeth, chances are you’ve explored straightening your teeth through orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign. What you might not have considered is that straight teeth also mean a healthier mouth.
When each tooth is properly positioned and aligned, you can brush and floss your teeth thoroughly and easily. You and your dentist will thank your orthodontist for years to come for addressing issues like crooked, crowded, or gapping teeth through orthodontic treatment. A patient who can practice proper, consistent teeth cleaning has a lower risk of gum disease, bone and enamel loss, and tooth decay, and a lower risk of costly, time-intensive, and painful dental emergencies in the future.
In addition to improved oral health, orthodontic treatment can also address issues with your bite that may impede speaking or chewing, or that may be the root of aesthetic woes. These include open bite, deep bite, overbite, and underbite. Greater comfort when speaking or eating can also mean a patient is more eager to speak up during class or a meeting and is more excited to sit down to a healthy meal. These improvements in wellbeing are difficult to measure but are no less important than a reduction in cavities.
The shape of our smile and the arrangement of each tooth is deeply connected to our facial structure. One of the reasons a smile shaped by orthodontics is so radiant is because your doctor can influence your smile on a structural level. This also means that orthodontics and orthodontic treatment can address structural issues that cause patients to feel pain and discomfort, such as TMJ disorder.
Are braces ever a bad idea?
For most people, no! However, if you are being treated for a dental disease, orthodontic treatment may have to wait. Affixing a bracket to a diseased tooth or moving teeth through even gentle pressure with braces and Invisalign can harm your teeth.
At Hutta & Hutta, we help every patient determine what treatment method is right for their needs and lifestyle. If you have questions or concerns, just ask.
Every patient is unique
Every patient is an individual and every smile is inimitable. Your journey through orthodontic treatment won’t look like anyone else’s. If you have other concerns, questions about your oral wellbeing, or are still curious about how treatment can improve your health, ask your orthodontist. Make an appointment with our office today. We can’t wait to meet you!