The Many Benefits Of An Aligned Bite

Here at Cowan & Whitaker Orthodontics, we’re proud to give patients of all ages a smile they want to show off! Aligning your bite can improve the function and appearance of your smile, but you may be interested to know that there are several other perks associated with orthodontic treatment. Keep reading below to learn more about these lesser-known benefits to braces and clear aligners in Tuscaloosa!

Back to basics: how do braces and aligners work?

To fully appreciate all the benefits of orthodontic treatment, it helps to understand how it works. Traditional braces are generally composed of metal or ceramic brackets that attach to your teeth. Wires and tiny rubber bands tie these together, exerting gentle pressure in specific directions. Clear aligner systems like Invisalign also use controlled force to move the teeth into more desirable positions. However, they use a series of customized trays instead of brackets, wires, and bands. 

These orthodontic appliances are also capable of helping to reshape the jawline. They do this by dissolving bone that is then replaced with new bone growth to support the teeth in their preferred positions. Modern treatment options are comfortable, cost-effective, and incredibly efficient at correcting many dental issues. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • difficulties with chewing or biting
  • misaligned teeth or jaws
  • excessive wear and tear of the teeth
  • teeth that have excessive spacing
  • overlapping or crowded teeth

When you schedule a complimentary examination with Dr. Cowan or Dr. Whitaker, they’ll begin by listening to your concerns then take a thorough look at your teeth and jaws. Along with the other information we’ll collect during your visit, they’ll be able to assess your smile and determine if orthodontic treatment is appropriate. They’ll also let you know which appliance would be the best fit for your specific needs!

The Many Benefits Of An Aligned Bite

The many benefits of orthodontic treatment 

When your teeth and jaws are misaligned, it can have a knock-on effect that affects your appearance and overall health. It can even lead to increased difficulty with everyday tasks like eating and speaking. Orthodontic treatment with Cowan & Whitaker Orthodontics can address and correct many of these issues! Although braces and aligners’ most commonly known benefit is a more attractive smile, some other advantages include the following. 

Improved chewing

When your teeth and jaws are out of alignment, you might have difficulty correctly biting and chewing your food. If this is left untreated over time, this can contribute to excessive wear and tear on your teeth. It may even lead to the muscles of the jaws weakening. This can cause painful chewing, exacerbating any issues you’re already having.

Improved digestion

You may be surprised at this connection between your stomach and your smile, but your teeth are a crucial component of the digestive process! Chewing your food is the first step of this process and the most important one. If you can’t chew properly due to misaligned teeth, it can negatively affect your whole digestive system. When your teeth have trouble breaking down food, it will pass through the digestive system much more slowly. Chewing may also be painful due to tooth or jaw pain, limiting how often you can eat.

Improved speech

Your speech can also be affected by the alignment of your teeth and jaws. Misaligned teeth can influence the placement of the tip of the tongue, which is essential to properly form certain sounds, including ‘t,’ ‘n,’ and ‘d.’ As an experienced orthodontist, Dr. Cowan or Dr. Whitaker will be able to help identify any speech issues related to misalignment. She can also assess any issues’ severity and then devise the most effective solution for you based on your specific needs.

Improved oral health

Brushing and flossing are an essential part of any dental hygiene routine. But when teeth are crooked, crowded, or overlapping, they can be challenging to clean. This increases the risk of plaque and bacteria building up, potentially leading to tooth decay, gum disease, cavities, and gingivitis. These may be common dental ailments, but they’re also preventable. Orthodontic treatment can help move the teeth into more optimal positions, making it easier to maintain an effective oral hygiene routine!

Improved jaw alignment

Misaligned teeth can have a noticeable effect on your jaw muscles and joints. If the jaws are forced to compensate for wrong positioning, the joints will respond, but it will often be to a position that can cause further damage. This is why we tend to see jaw issues and misaligned teeth present in a patient together. Some of the symptoms you may experience with improper jaw alignment are:

  • headaches or migraines
  • a jaw that seems to pop or “creak”
  • pain in the jaw, neck, or shoulders
  • sleep disorders

Our personalized treatment plans can help minimize or eliminate these symptoms by properly aligning your teeth and jaws. This approach will give you a smile that feels good, functions well, and looks beautiful! 

The Many Benefits Of An Aligned Bite

Your best smile is waiting for you at Cowan & Whitaker Orthodontics

Cowan & Whitaker Orthodontics offers patients the whole package! Our expert team is committed to providing clear communication and compassionate care. You can expect a stress-free and rewarding orthodontic experience from start to finish. If you’re looking for more information on the many ways an aligned bite can benefit you, get in touch today to schedule a FREE exam with Dr. Cowan or Dr. Whitaker. There’s never been a better time to take the first step towards a healthier smile!