No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

Three Surprising Things Braces Can Help With

by Jeremiah Barnett

When people think about braces and their benefits, often they think of teeth straightening. While it's true that braces are the best method of straightening teeth available, their potential benefits don't stop with a nice-looking smile. Here are three other ways that braces can often help people out who have crooked teeth and abnormal bites, like an underbite or overbite. 

Poor Pronunciation

People who have seriously crooked teeth or a severe underbite or overbite sometimes have a bit of trouble with pronunciation. Sharper sounds may be a little difficult to enunciate clearly because of the way that the jaw and teeth are shaped.

When someone with straight teeth and a normal bite isn't speaking, the tongue lays nearly flat in the floor of the mouth. However, in people with smaller or misaligned bites or for those who have crooked teeth, it can mean the tongue is more cramped, making it a bit more difficult to get what you're saying across clearly. While many people learn to compensate and live with this, it's not something you have to tolerate.

Bad Digestion

Another problem people with badly crooked teeth experience is difficulty chewing their food thoroughly. In particular, when the upper and lower front teeth don't meet up properly, as is usually the case with either underbites or overbites, it can make it difficult to tear and chew food effectively.

How does this affect digestion, you might ask? Well, chewing is actually the first step of digestion. By dicing up your food into little bits in your mouth, you make it easier on your stomach to process that food. In addition, as the food is chewed up, enzymes in your saliva start to go to work breaking it down. But if you're chewing insufficiently because your teeth don't meet up, then this process doesn't work as normal, and your stomach may experience some indigestion as a result.

Jaw Development

Finally, braces can help young people to develop jawlines that will make them feel confident in the future. Overbites and underbites and even crooked teeth can make the jaw look either too short or too long, depending on which type of bite it is. By getting braces at a young age, this growth can be controlled and equalized, ensuring that the upper and lower jaw grow at the same rate. This can greatly help with not only the above problems but also helps to ensure that children don't grow up feeling self-conscious about having an ill-defined jaw.