Sometime during your child’s adolescence, you may very well find your pedodontist recommending that your child visit an orthodontist for a consultation regarding orthodontic work. Orthodontic work is an investment that will leave your child with straight teeth and an attractive smile, but did you know that this type of dental work has benefits that go beyond cosmetics? Here is what you need to know about the health benefits of orthodontic work.

Reduced jaw issues

Orthodontic work can actually work to eliminate jaw issues—issues which in turn can cause headaches and pain in the face or neck. When orthodontic work is done in such a way that it also promotes a correct bite (in addition to straightening teeth), it puts the jaw in alignment and reduces stress on the jaw. Stress on the jaw caused by misaligned teeth can be a cause for dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, so achieving a proper bite can help to keep your jaw joint functioning correctly.

Less risk of tooth decay

When teeth are in ideal alignment, they are in a better position to allow for effective dental care. Brushing the teeth and flossing becomes much easier, and this boost to your dental care effectiveness can work to prevent tooth decay.

Less risk of gum disease

Similarly, having teeth in proper alignment also helps you to better care for your gums. This can help to reduce the risks of getting gingivitis or a receding gum line.

Better bite pattern

Your bite pattern is central to how your teeth wear down, and straighter teeth will contribute to a more even bite pattern. This means that your teeth will wear down more evenly, and your teeth are less likely to give way to chipping and breaking. Proper chewing stemming from correctly aligned teeth can also contribute better digestion and better nutrient absorption. A better bite will even help to reduce some teeth grinding and speech difficulties.

Reduced risk of injury

Teeth that protrude from the mouth and “buck teeth” are more likely to sustain injury, so straightening out the teeth can work to eliminate these added risks of injury. Children involved in high-contact sports are especially susceptible to injuries that stem from improper teeth alignment.

More confidence

This psychological benefit isn’t to be discounted—a better smile works to improve self-esteem, which can go miles in helping a child find self-acceptance. This type of confidence is truly priceless.