What Are the Benefits of Braces Besides Straight Teeth?

girl smiling with braces

It’s easy to underestimate the power of an attractive smile, but multiple studies have shown it’s the first thing people notice about, and what they’re most likely to remember as well. At David Ross Orthodontics, we love crafting beautifully aligned smiles for patients of all ages. While aesthetics are important, orthodontic treatment like braces has a number of benefits that go beyond the cosmetic. However, braces offer a number of other benefits that go beyond the cosmetic. When your teeth and jaws are aligned, it can not only improve your appearance but boost your overall oral health as well. To learn more about what braces have to offer you besides a straighter smile, take a look below!

Understanding braces

To better understand all the benefits of braces, it helps to have some understanding of how they actually work. Traditional braces are generally made up of metal or ceramic brackets that we attach to your teeth. We will then use wires and tiny rubber bands to tie them together, exerting gentle pressure in specific directions. This is what will eventually move your teeth into the desired positions.

Braces can also help reshape the jawline by dissolving bone that will be replaced with new bone growth to support the teeth in their new positions. In addition to being incredibly effective and cost-efficient, braces can correct a number of dental issues, including:

  • difficulties with chewing or biting
  • misaligned teeth or jaws
  • excessive wear and tear of teeth
  • teeth with excessive spacing
  • overlapping or crowded teeth

When you schedule your free smile exam with Dr. Ross, he’ll start by listening to any orthodontic concerns you have, followed by a thorough look at your teeth and jaws. This assessment will help him determine if orthodontic treatment is needed and if braces could be the right fit for you.

The many benefits of braces

When your teeth and jaws are misaligned, it can affect your appearance, your overall health, and it can even cause increased difficulty with everyday activities like eating and speaking. Your regular oral hygiene routine can also suffer, becoming more difficult to maintain, or seeming to become less effective over the years. Orthodontic treatment can address and correct many of these issues. Although many people focus on how braces can create a straighter smile, some of these lesser-known benefits include:

Improved chewing

It’s not uncommon to have a hard time biting and chewing your food properly if your teeth and jaws are out of alignment. When left untreated over time, this can wear your teeth out and may lead to the muscles of the jaws weakening. In turn, these problems can cause painful chewing, which can exacerbate the issues you’re already having.

Improved digestion

You may not connect your teeth with how well your digestive system works, but chewing your food is the first, and most crucial, step of the digestive process. If you are unable to chew properly due to misaligned teeth, it can have a detrimental effect on your entire digestive system. When teeth have trouble breaking food down properly, food will pass through the digestive system much more slowly. You may also find that chewing is painful due to tooth or jaw pain, limiting what, or how often, you can eat.

Improved speech

There are parts of the body you may never imagine being affected by the teeth and jaws. For example, misaligned teeth can influence the placement of the tip of the tongue, which is essential to properly form certain sounds, such as ‘t’, ‘n’, and ‘d.’ Braces are often able to correct this type of speech issue by aligning the teeth, allowing for the proper placement of the tongue. Once an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Ross identifies a speech issue related to misalignment, he will be able to assess the severity of it and devise the most effective solution based on your particular needs.

Young Girls Smiling

Improved oral health

Brushing and flossing should be a regular part of everyone’s daily hygiene routine. But when you have crooked, crowded, or overlapping teeth, it can be difficult to keep them clean. This can create favorable conditions for a buildup of plaque and bacteria, which can increase your risk for issues such as:

  • tooth decay
  • gum disease
  • cavities
  • gingivitis

Although these kinds of dental ailments are common, they can be prevented. Orthodontic treatment like braces can move the teeth into more optimal positions, making dental hygiene easier and more effective. This reduces your potential for developing unhealthy teeth and gums.

Improved jaw alignment

Misaligned teeth can have a noticeable effect on your jaw muscles and joints. When the jaws are forced to compensate for bad positioning, the joints will adapt in response, but in a position that can cause damage. This is why jaw issues and misaligned teeth so often go hand-in-hand. Some of the symptoms you may experience with improper jaw alignment are:

  • headaches
  • jaw that pop or “creak”
  • pain in the jaw, neck, or shoulders
  • sleep disorders

With customized braces treatment by David Ross Orthodontics, issues such as these can be minimized or eliminated by properly aligning your teeth and jaws. This gives you a smile that looks and feels great!

Helps to prevent bone erosion

When tartar and plaque are allowed to build up between the teeth and along the gum line over time, it can eventually damage or destroy the bone underneath the teeth. This can cause swelling of the gums, slight bleeding, and may even cause loose teeth. If a tooth falls out, the gums can erode.

Similarly, noticeable gaps or spaces between the teeth can create the same kind of bone erosion because the misalignment puts too much pressure on the jawbone. Braces can bring teeth back together, relieving this pressure and any associated symptoms along with it.

office of David Ross

Explore how braces can work for you with David Ross Orthodontics

We’re about more than straight teeth here at David Ross Orthodontics! We’re proud to create beautifully aligned and fully functioning smiles for our patients. Our team works hard to provide clear communication and compassionate care so that your orthodontic experience is rewarding from beginning to end. We are passionate about building relationships that last a lifetime and excited to welcome you to our Hanover office. We utilize the latest technology and techniques to offer a variety of safe and gentle treatments, and our sterilization procedures brings a whole new level of protection to our patients. If you’re looking for a top-quality orthodontic practice in Hanover or the surrounding areas, and want to learn more about how orthodontics can benefit you, get in touch with David Ross Orthodontics today. The smile you deserve is waiting for you!

Invisalign… What Is That?

Orthodontist David Ross HanoverLike braces, Invisalign is an option to improve the look of your smile. It is a series of clear removable aligners that are customized to your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements Dr. Ross plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth. 

Invisalign won’t interfere with your daily life:

  • Invisalign aligners are clear, discrete and effective at moving your teeth into their ideal positions.
  • You don’t need to change your eating habits, because your aligners can be easily removed.
  • Invisalign aligners are made of comfortable, smooth plastic, so you don’t have to worry about taking care of metal brackets.
  • Invisalign aligners make daily oral hygiene easier, reducing the risk of possible problems.
  • Invisalign treatment is covered by most insurance providers, just like traditional braces.
  • A straight smile makes you look great, but it also can help you keep the rest of your mouth healthy.
  • Correctly aligned teeth can decrease health issues that can be caused by an improper bite, speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems, and increased wear on the tooth enamel.

If you are thinking about Invisalign, call our office at

717-637-4131 to schedule a FREE exam!

David Ross Orthodontics VIP Patient Rewards!!!

It’s Coming...David Ross Orthodontics VIP Patient Rewards!!!

Mark your calendars for our official Launch Party! All patients will get an exclusive VIP Rewards Card and we will exchange old reward tickets for points and gift cards. We can’t wait to see you there!!! 

Orthodontist David Ross Hanover Launch Party

Is Cold & Flu Season Over Yet?!

Unfortunately the flu season is still going strong. Typically, the cold & flu season is most common in the U.S between October and May, and usually peaks around January or February. When coming down with the flu, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is your teeth and braces. However, that cold or flu does affect your oral health in some ways.

Tips to keep your mouth healthy while having the flu:

TIP #1    Avoid Dry Mouth By Staying Hydrated

Dry mouth can increase cavity risk. Most colds come with a stuffy nose which makes us breathe through our mouths. While we’re sleeping our saliva production decreases and our mouths become vulnerable to harmful bacteria.  So make sure to drink plenty of liquids when you’re sick to prevent from getting dry mouth.

TIP #2  Keep The Bad Stuff Off Your Teeth

Are you sucking on cough drops all day? Most are loaded with sugar. Opt for sugar-free cough drops if possible. AND, be sure not to bite down on those super-hard drops.

Cough syrup is loaded with sugar too. If you take cough syrup, rinse your mouth out before going back to bed.

Stomach acid is hard on teeth. Sorry to bring this up, but if you’re throwing up, keep your teeth rinsed and clean.

TIP #3 No Matter How Tired… 

We know it’s tough when you’re sick, but don’t skip your normal brushing/flossing routine just because you’re feeling really tired. Your oral health while you’re in braces is just too important to neglect.

Orthodontist David Ross Hanover