In our field, orthodontists focus on the tangible aspects of patients’ smiles. Our specialty concerns straightening misaligned teeth and correcting malocclusions (incorrect bites) with braces. We look at the physical aspects of these problems and the physical solutions to them.
At the same time, we are aware of the psychological impact of what we do for our patients. Even though orthodontics improves oral health, it also improves mental health and well-being in a number of ways. Read on to see how our Baton Rouge orthodontist can help your smile beyond just straightening your teeth.
We work with patients with crooked teeth who are clearly shy about how they look. They tell us they try not to show their teeth when they smile for photos, and sometimes they cover their mouths with their hands when they talk. It’s so wonderful when they’re done with orthodontic treatment to see how their attitude has improved. However, these benefits are not just anecdotal. According to studies, after receiving orthodontic treatment, young people have shown higher emotional and social well-being than their peers who never had treatment. That’s definitely something to keep in mind when you’re considering whether or not to seek out teen braces.
Orthodontics make people’s smiles more attractive, and human nature responds positively to attractiveness. Beyond that, braces can help in other ways. For example, crooked teeth can trap food in hard-to-reach places and result in bad breath, so straight teeth can eliminate other issues that may impact someone’s ease in social settings.
If you have or once had a misaligned bite, you know that malocclusions can make the everyday functioning of your mouth annoying. When your teeth don’t meet up as they should, it can be hard to bite into food, and you might have to compensate by biting with other parts of your mouth.
Plus, your misaligned teeth could cause a speech impediment. It takes both the teeth and the tongue to correctly pronounce words, and if those teeth are misaligned, there can be issues in speaking patterns. Braces can help to adjust these positions and improve pronunciations and sounds.
One other important thing to keep in mind is that it’s also harder and more time consuming to clean crooked teeth as opposed to straight ones. The spaces between your teeth can become more difficult to reach if there are overlaps or protrusions.
The benefit of improved concentration is primarily for those patients whose dental problems are not just annoying but are in fact painful. Jutting teeth can sometimes stick into the insides of cheeks or scrape against the tongue, and the pain can be even worse when the problems result in ongoing blisters or bleeding. Chronic pain can be very distracting, and orthodontic treatment takes care of it.
When you’re a baby or toddler, you live in the now and have little awareness of the benefits of delayed gratification. This awareness, of course, improves as people get older, but teenagers’ decisions still tend to be short-sighted, according to child development experts. The process of getting orthodontic treatment and the very tangible rewards at the end help exhibit firsthand the benefits of delayed gratification. The end result is worth it.
So while orthodontists may not have expertise in psychology or counseling, they still can have quite a bit of influence on their patients’ emotional happiness. Our Baton Rouge orthodontist is ready to help address all of these factors with braces or Invisalign. Give us a call to get started today!