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Are Braces Worth It?

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What are the Benefits of Braces?

Braces and Self Esteem

The latest UK Child Dental Health Survey by the British Orthodontic Society contained an alarming statistic – the majority of 12-year-olds are often embarrassed to smile or have experienced difficulty cleaning or brushing their teeth. It is not unreasonable to assume that a child who is embarrassed by their smile might also have concerns about speaking.

The embarrassment a child experiences when smiling will often stem from concerns they have over their teeth; they do not want to present an uneven smile to the world so they develop habits to hide or cover their smile (smiling with their mouth closed, breaking eye contact and looking to the floor, covering their mouth with their hand).
If you are an adult considering braces this might already ring true, regaining confidence in your appearance being a key reason for considering braces. Perhaps you have a client-facing job or one that requires you to meet with, and present to, key stakeholders on a regular basis.

The importance of first impressions is well known and there have been many studies into this area – one referenced on PsychCentral suggests that first impressions are more important than fact. In a work environment, people will judge someone based on first impressions and then stick to these impressions even if they are later refuted by fact.

For a child, getting braces at a young age may help prevent self-esteem issues into adulthood. That might be for a somewhat distant future, but more immediately braces may make their childhood that bit more positive. A positive mindset enables children to try things, to interact and to enjoy experiences. Braces do not magically equal a perfect childhood, but they could remove concerns that have a negative impact.

Braces and Reduced Tooth Decay

Misaligned teeth create the perfect environment in which bacteria can thrive.

The overcrowding of teeth, coupled with gaps in other areas, creates pockets that are extremely difficult to clean with just a toothbrush, paste, and floss (you do use all of those, don’t you?!).

Correcting the spacing of teeth means that it will be far easier to clean them in the future.

A further advantage is that the process of having braces imparts better dental hygiene to patients.

Patients have to be disciplined in cleaning their teeth, and braces create an extra area to clean (indeed braces may instil good dental habits in a child who is normally unable to maintain good dental hygiene).

Perhaps it is even a chance to introduce a few beneficial dietary changes – the complications that toffee or popcorn or other sweet substances present to the process of cleaning their braces, and the accompanying risk of damaging them, might persuade children to cut back their consumption.

Having braces leads to teeth which are easier to maintain, and in turn, improved dental maintenance in the long term.

Two other benefits of braces

These benefits of braces are not as common but their benefits when applicable are great.

Tackling sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common condition whereby breathing is abnormal during sleep. It has been linked with serious medical conditions including high blood pressure and heart disease while on a daily basis it can create a feeling of drowsiness.The size of the airway can be a cause of the condition and, in turn, misaligned teeth could be reducing the size of the airway when a person is lying in a sleeping position.

While braces are not a common treatment for sleep apnea, a better night’s sleep could be an added benefit.

Improved digestion. A person with a misaligned bite might chew their food less, either because their bite is relatively ineffective or chewing creates pain. Food that is poorly broken up at the first stage of the digestion process is then harder to digest in the stomach, issues with indigestion therefore being a potential side effect.

So, Are Braces Worth It?

If a potential patient has misaligned teeth, and if braces could benefit them, then they are clearly worth it, the advantages are so great, many can be truly life-enhancing!

If you would like to discuss options further, please do get in touch with us at The Dental Surgery in the City of London.

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