Back in February 1941, the cities of Akron and Cleveland held events to raise awareness of the importance of children’s dental health, a first at the time. Fast forward to 1949, and the American Dental Association decided to take those events and turn them into a national day of observance on February 8th. This was extended to a week in 1955, and eventually in 1981, February officially became National Children’s Dental Health Month, a time when dental professionals across the country raise awareness about the best ways to look after growing smiles. That’s why, today, an orthodontist in New Albany is going to share a fact most people don’t know: straightening the teeth not only helps them look better, but can drastically improve their health as well! How? Read on to learn more.
A Straighter Smile is a Healthier One
When it comes to orthodontics and treatments like braces and Invisalign, many people think that the primary benefits are aesthetic. Who doesn’t want to have a perfectly straight smile? However, the benefits of orthodontics go way beyond what you can see.
When the teeth are crooked and crowded, this can actually create tiny areas within the mouth where plaque can easily accumulate. Because of how the teeth are oriented, these trouble spots can be extremely hard to clean while brushing and flossing, giving the plaque more time to cause a cavity. However, when the teeth are straightened and properly spaced, brushing and flossing is better able to remove harmful buildup, radically reducing a child’s risk of decay. A beautifully aligned smile that is also more resistant to cavities? That sounds great to us!
Better Function, Less Wear
Orthodontics can also help with jaw alignment problems such as an overbite, under bite, and cross bite. In addition to affecting how a child looks, these issues can also hamper their abilities to eat, speak, and even breathe comfortably. They may also orient the bite in such a way that a lot of stress and pressure is placed on certain teeth or the jaw joint itself, which can lead to excess wear and tear and pain.
Fortunately, with the right treatment, orthodontics can easily fix a child’s bite and improve their oral function at the same time. This will not only make them more comfortable in their day to day life, but also ensure that their natural teeth last for as long as possible.
When to Visit an Orthodontist
Has your child been examined by an orthodontist yet? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children should receive an orthodontic evaluation around the age of 7. At this point in a child’s development, the dentist will be able to spot any issues in their baby teeth as well as determine whether or not their adult teeth could develop problems in the future. By starting treatment at an early age, the orthodontist will be able to straighten a child’s smile and bite much easier than waiting until later, meaning they will have more time to benefit from all the things we mentioned earlier!
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is a board-certified orthodontist who has been serving smiles of all ages throughout Ohio for years, and he was even voted Columbus’ Top Orthodontist from 2011-2016. To learn more about how orthodontics can give your child a healthier and more confident smile at the same time, you’re invited to schedule a FREE consultation today.