How Orthodontics Improves the Overall Health of Your Patients

Whole Health Benefits of Advanced Dentistry

When most people think about orthodontics, they think about dental procedures that can correct misalignment in their teeth and jaws and beautify their smiles. 

However, few realize the whole-health benefits that they can achieve by pursuing this form of advanced dentistry. Not only can orthodontic treatments give your patients the bright and healthy smile they’ve always wanted, but they can also ward off tooth decay and gum disease, improving their overall quality of life. 

Today, we’re diving into the link between orthodontics and general health. We’ll also share how you can grow your dental practice by adding this treatment to your list of services provided. 

Cosmetic Benefits of Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatments are designed to correct the improper positioning of a patient’s teeth. They work by applying continuous pressure to their mouth in strategic locations. In time, that pressure can gently move their teeth in a specific direction.

Examples of oral health issues that can be improved with these treatments include:

  • Jaw misalignment (overbite, underbite, crossbite).
  • Overcrowded teeth.
  • Crooked teeth.

Collectively, these issues are referred to as malocclusions, which means an abnormal alignment of the upper and lower teeth.

Though the field of orthodontics has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks, the practice has become more innovative and advanced over the years. Today, the two most common types of orthodontic treatments include traditional brackets and lingual brackets.

Traditional brackets can be made of steel, plastic, or ceramic. One bracket attaches to the front of each tooth, and wires and bands connect the brackets together.

Conversely, lingual brackets are positioned on the back of a patient’s teeth. These are less noticeable than traditional brackets and are often preferred by patients who are concerned about the aesthetics of their treatment. 

Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem

Regardless of whether a patient chooses traditional or lingual brackets, both treatments can help address and correct the issues listed above. With a straighter smile and a properly aligned bite, your patients will naturally feel more confident, happy, and content. In addition, their comfort levels will improve, which can also contribute to their mental health.

They’re no longer dealing with excess pressure on their gums. Their teeth are easier to clean and floss around. They can bite, chew, and speak easier and more effectively. These are simple activities that most people take for granted, but that can be challenging or downright impossible for someone with malocclusion.

Whole-Body Benefits of Orthodontics

With orthodontics, you can improve your patients’ physical appearance and bolster their self-esteem. Yet, these are far from the only benefit that they’ll gain from a straighter smile. Let’s take a look at a few of the different ways these treatments can improve your patients’ overall health.

Easier cleaning helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

As mentioned, it’s much easier to brush and floss around teeth that are uncrowded and properly spaced. This empowers patients to take control of their dental health in ways that they might not have been able to before. 

Without orthodontic treatment, they may try to clean between their teeth, but it can be difficult to reach certain areas due to crowding or misalignment. This can cause bacteria to build up in their mouths. In turn, those bacteria create harmful acids that lead to tooth decay.

Similarly, plaque can also build up around teeth that are misaligned. Those malocclusions offer additional areas for plaque to accumulate and remain out of reach, which can also cause decay. 

Correct alignment means less enamel erosion.

If a patient suffers from a misaligned jaw, then this issue could cause extra wear and tear on their tooth enamel. As they chew or bite, their teeth may hit against one another in an unnatural way. Over time, this can erode their enamel and weaken their overall tooth structure. Orthodontics correct this issue, which helps keep their enamel healthy and intact. 

Improved gum health can reduce systemic inflammation.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes that some oral health conditions, including periodontitis, are associated with a number of health concerns, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Though direct causality hasn’t been proven, there are two reasons why this could be the case.

First, chronic inflammation in a patient’s mouth due to disease and decay can increase levels of inflammation throughout their body. This can affect designated inflammatory markers in their bloodstream, which alters their immune response. In addition, a patient’s mouth can serve as a reservoir for certain types of pathogenic bacteria, which can enter their bloodstream and trigger systemic inflammation. 

Researchers suggest that someone with periodontal disease is two to three times as likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event. When they’re able to clean around their teeth and gums more effectively, patients can keep levels of oral inflammation in check, and lower this risk.

Proper alignment can alleviate TMJ pain.

Finally, correcting orthodontic issues can also help relieve other related conditions. This includes temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, which is often linked to bite misalignment or malocclusion. This type of pain can lead to headaches, tenderness in the jaw, and earaches. It can also make it difficult for people to open their mouths and can strain their necks and shoulders. By re-aligning their bite, patients can correct the position of their teeth and jaw. This can reduce their TMJ pain, or even eliminate it altogether. 

Enhance your services with advanced dentistry.

According to one report, around 45% of people will need some type of orthodontic treatment to treat a known functional problem. In addition, there are many more who will require it for issues they haven’t discovered yet. These patients will look for a local dentist who can provide these services. Could you be the one they visit? If you’re thinking about adding this type of advanced dentistry to your list of treatments, we can help. Our AOS courses help dentists gain the knowledge and skill-sets they need to add orthodontics to their general or pediatric practice. Check out our full list of courses online today and take a step forward on your path to dental practice success!

To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.

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