Nearly everyone knows that dental braces can be an effective tool in straightening teeth and correcting the appearance of smiles. That being said, it might surprise you to learn that if your teeth are out of alignment, it could have a serious affect on how your body digests food. Getting braces goes beyond the cosmetic improvements and can potentially help to boost your digestion. Read on to learn how braces can be helpful to your digestive process.
How Crooked Teeth Affect Food Consumption
When people think about crooked teeth, they often think of smiles that don't look quite right or teeth that look slightly twisted. However, teeth can actually be misaligned in that the top and bottom teeth don't meet appropriately. This mechanism is necessary in order to chew food effectively. If teeth can't meet evenly in order to bite, tear, and grind food, you won't be able to thoroughly chew your food as well as someone who has straight teeth.
How Inadequately-Chewed Food Affects Digestion
Chewing your food is a necessary part of being able to digest your food. Cutting up your food into smaller bites with your teeth allows your stomach to process it more easily, and it reduces strain on your esophagus as the food travels down your throat to the stomach. However, the whole digestion process actually begins in the mouth.
In addition to reducing the size of the food you're swallowing, chewing your food exposes that food to saliva. Saliva contains enzymes that begin the process of breaking down food before it ever makes its way to your stomach. However, if you swallow food that hasn't been broken down very well by your teeth, the enzymes can't access the entirety of what you're eating.
Without breaking down food effectively, your body can't fully absorb the vitamins and minerals that your food contains. In addition, your stomach will have to work harder to break down the food before it can move through your intestines. This may cause an increase in stomach acid, which could increase your risk of developing problems like ulcers or heartburn.
How Braces Can Help
Braces are the best tool in a dentist's arsenal at straightening teeth. Your dentist will examine your teeth to determine which - if not all - of your teeth are out of alignment with each other, and will formulate a plan to get them back into a normal position. This will allow your teeth to effectively break down food, reducing the strain on the rest of your body.
Braces can give you a great-looking smile, but they can also help to improve your digestion. If you have stomach problems and your teeth aren't at their best, consider consulting with a dentist.