BENEFITS OF ORTHODONTICS
A warm smile is the universal language of kindness
– William Arthur Ward
Your smile is one of your most important assets. It helps you in social situations, inspires trust in professional ones, and just overall makes you more appealing—unless, of course, it doesn’t. Not everyone is born with the kind of smile that everyone thinks of as healthy and beautiful. But if you choose the right provider, you can get one anyway.
And a better appearance is far from being the only major benefit of orthodontic care. Straight smiles are healthy smiles, causing less wear on the teeth and gums and making it easier to get truly clean when brushing. Dental and gum disease are at a decreased risk and even things like cracked teeth and poor digestion are less likely.
Boosting self-perception through orthodontics
Can orthodontic treatment improve an adolescent’s esthetic self-perception?
That question was central to a long-term study initiated in 2006 at Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro State University orthodontic clinic. Results of the study were published in the June 2012 edition of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.
The treatment group for the study consisted of 92 patients ranging in age from 12 to 15 years. The study included a control group of 226 untreated adolescents, 124 of whom were waiting for treatment. Another 102 adolescents were attending public school and had never undergone or sought orthodontic care.
The index of orthodontic treatment need was used to assess malocclusion severity, esthetic status (measured by an orthodontist) and esthetic self-perception. All the study subjects—the treatment group, the waiting group and the school group—were interviewed three times over a period of two years.
In the end, the researchers found that “fixed orthodontic treatment improved the esthetic self-perceptions in Brazilian adolescents aged 12 to 15 years who sought orthodontic care.”
They also found that those who did not receive care “had significantly worse self-ratings,” an outcome only partly influenced by the severity of their malocclusion.