It's a common misconception that people only get orthodontic treatment (i.e. braces) in order to improve the appearance of their teeth. Whilst it is true that orthodontics can certainly enhance a person's smile, they can also improve their overall health. Read on to find out more.

Braces can reduce a person's chances of developing periodontal disease and its associated heart problems

Overcrowded or crooked teeth often overlap. Food particles can easily become trapped in the small spaces created by these overlapping teeth. Because these spaces are so tiny, it can be next to impossible for a person to effectively access them with their toothbrush or floss, in order to remove food particles.

Food that is left in between a person's teeth for too long will eventually be consumed by bacterial plaque. The acid that the bacteria then create as a result of eating this food can then cause tooth erosion, cavities and gum inflammation. The latter is particularly dangerous. Chronic gum inflammation will, in almost all cases, lead to periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is quite a serious condition which can not only affect a person's oral health (it can cause both gum recession and tooth loss), but also the health of their heart. Gums are filled with blood vessels; as a result, any inflammation and bacteria in this area of the mouth will make their way into the bloodstream and other parts of the body, including the heart. This can put a person at greater risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.

All of these health problems can be avoided if orthodontic treatment is used to realign and space out a person's teeth so that they can remove food particles from their mouth and prevent inflammation.

Braces can improve a person's digestive health

The act of chewing food with one's teeth is a crucial part of the digestion process; it breaks food particles down into smaller, easier-to-digest pieces and triggers the release of digestive enzymes so that the nutrients in the food can be absorbed and used by the body.

If an individual has a severely misaligned bite, it can have a significant impact on their ability to chew their food properly. This, in turn, can lead to digestion issues, such as heartburn, and may reduce the volume of nutrients their body is able to absorb from their food.

As such, if a person wears braces to correct their misaligned bite, they will almost certainly begin to notice an improvement in their digestive health.