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How Braces Help You Breathe Better: Not So Well-Known Facts

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When most people purchase braces for their children, they do so because they want to help their children have healthy, attractive smiles. What they may not realize or even know is that they are also giving their children a better ability to breathe. Here is more on how braces help you breathe better and will increase your (or your child's) ability to breathe better as you get older.

Tooth Roots and Room

If you took a look at some x-rays showing kids' mouths before they got braces, you might notice something other than just the crooked teeth. You may notice that many of the front teeth send long roots up into the sinus cavities. Even after these adult teeth have descended, the roots are often embedded in some part of the sinus cavities above them. This is not unusual, but it does prevent most people from effectively breathing most of their lives.

When an orthodontist or dentist installs braces, the braces widen the mouth so that more of the teeth can move downward and out of the sinus cavities. The idea is to get the roots of these teeth below the sinus cavity openings in the head. When the braces have successfully done that, you can see it on an x-ray. There is no more tooth or tooth root up near the nose, nasal passageways or sinuses, and so the person with braces experiences less congestion.

Opening the Esophageal Passage

In addition to moving the teeth as far down through the gums as they can safely go, the reshaping of the oral cavity tends to create a wider and more open esophageal passage. What this means is that more air (and thus, more oxygen) can pass into the lungs when needed. Less snoring occurs because the passageway is not blocked, narrowed or hampered by the roof of the mouth or the teeth. After all sets of braces have successfully done their job, you (or your child) will have a wider, more open passageway for breathing. Combined with the downward movement of the teeth out of the sinus cavities, the previous wearer of orthodontia can now breathe so easily for the rest of his/her life.

Why Wearing a Retainer Is So Important Too

After the braces are off, the dentist or orthodontist often prescribes a retainer for regular use. It is vital that the patient (whether it is you or your child) wear the retainer as prescribed. It holds the newly shifted teeth in their new positions. Without the retainer, all of the work done to create an open oral cavity, lack of tooth roots in the sinuses and open esophageal passage may start to backslide. If you or your children have had braces already, be sure to use the retainer to keep the positive changes made by the braces.

Check out a place like Braces Inc. for more information.