Are you wondering how orthodontic treatment can contribute to your overall health? In this post, our BC and Alberta orthodontists define orthodontic treatment and discuss the connection between our teeth and our overall health, as well as how we can help correct orthodontic problems.
Our Teeth & Overall Health
When most people think of orthodontic treatment, they might think of braces, retainers, Invisalign and other treatment methods, but what exactly are all of these treatment options meant to accomplish, and how does orthodontics affect your overall health?
If your teeth are misaligned, crooked or crowded, this can cause uneven wear and tear on our teeth and make them more difficult to keep clean, which in turn makes it difficult to maintain overall health.
Weak spots may develop in the enamel, leaving them at higher risk for tooth decay, cavities and gum disease as food bacteria and plaque build up.
Crooked teeth do not fit together naturally, which puts stress on the jaws and can lead to TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). This can lead to facial pain, headaches, and issues with bite that range from moderate to severely painful.
Beyond causing pain and disease in our mouth, if gum disease develops the bacteria can spread to other organs via our bloodstream, potentially leading to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications and more.
Other common treatable orthodontic conditions include openbite, overjet and crossbite.
Because it's easier to care for straight teeth than misaligned or crowded teeth, our orthodontists focus on early assessment and a proactive, preventive approach to identifying orthodontic issues and correcting them with treatment tailored to a patient's needs and goals.
What is orthodontic treatment?
With orthodontic treatment, we can straighten teeth so they look and function better, and support improved health and well-being.
Treatment options include palatal expansion (for children), braces and Invisalign, and/or dental appliances depending on a number of factors, such as the patient's oral health condition, age, lifestyle and more.
At myORTHODONTIST, we believe that everyone deserves a healthy smile, and that orthodontics can support well-being throughout a patient's entire body by focusing on growth patterns, dento-facial balance and airway issues as contributors to general health.
By taking a non-invasive 2-phase approach to treatment for children and teens, we can identify orthodontic issues early, potentially guide jaw growth and fine-tune teens' smiles by taking a more traditional orthodontic approach to treatment in later years.
For children, this may mean bringing them in for an early orthodontic assessment followed by preventative treatment to minimize the need for surgery or extractions later.
How can orthodontic treatment improve my oral and overall health?
Now that you know how problems with your teeth and gums can affect your oral health and have long-term implications for your overall health, you're likely wondering how we can address these issues.
While braces, Invisalign and other treatment options can be used to straighten teeth and improve aesthetics, they also properly align teeth and can contribute to better overall oral health.
Straighter teeth are less likely to endure uneven wear and tear over time, and they are often easier to brush and floss. When it becomes easier to take better care of your teeth with proper oral hygiene, you can help prevent future tooth decay, cavities, periodontal disease and other problems with oral and overall health.
At each of our orthodontic practices in BC and Alberta, we offer comprehensive services. Depending on your needs and goals that will be identified during an orthodontic assessment, we may aim to:
- Properly align teeth
- Establish an overall balance for dentofacial health
- Focus on ensuring proper jaw growth for children and teens during their developmental years
- Address airway health and breathing
- Support healthy jaw joint and function of facial muscles
By taking a client-first approach and developing customized orthodontic treatment plans, we can treat common orthodontic conditions in children, teens and adults. We look forward to meeting you, learning about your goals, helping you straighten your teeth, and build a solid foundation for your oral health and overall health for years to come.
Our orthodontists at myORTHODONTIST are always happy to answer any questions you may have about your general orthodontic health and treatment.