The benefits of braces…besides straight teeth.

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we believe that everyone would like to have a naturally-aligned, beautiful smile, if only for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons. However, there are even greater benefits to wearing braces than just having straight teeth. You’ll gain many oral health benefits in addition to the obvious cosmetic ones.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Crooked (misaligned) or crowded teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between. These crooked or crowded teeth can make it very difficult to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, and eventually leading to tooth decay and gum disease (gingivititis). With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, allowing for more effective brushing and flossing.

Speech Difficulties

Believe it or not, your teeth play an important role in your speech. When teeth are out of line, or jut too far forward or backward, this can affect your speech patterns, and possibly cause you embarrassment and frustration. Braces can readjust the positioning of the teeth to allow for clearer, more professional speaking.

Jawbone Erosion

The jawbone and gum tissues can start to erode when there are no teeth to support. This is also true for poorly-aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces, or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. After treatment with braces, the jawbone and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth in their new alignment.


Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth. If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not perform their function in breaking down food as effectively as they should. With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for proper eating and chewing, thereby aiding in the digestion process.

Dr. Horner and Dr. Barrow and the staff at Horner Barrow Orthodontics would be happy to answer any of your questions about your orthodontic treatment. Call or visit our Sioux Falls, SD office today!

The Connection Between Orthodontics and Whole Body Health

In the last several years, many links have been established between orthodontic treatments and whole body health. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, researchers have observed that people who have gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease, or experience difficulty in controlling their blood sugar levels than people without gum disease. While studies continue to find associations between oral health and the overall health of the body, it has not yet been determined whether gum disease could be the leading cause of these health conditions. What can be determined, however, is that good oral health isn’t just about maintaining a healthy smile; it also has an important impact on the health of your entire body.

The connections between gum disease and whole body health.

The connections between the health of your mouth and the health of your body are too many to ignore. Is it a coincidence that gum disease and other health problems occur together? Researchers don’t think so, despite the lack of definitive proof.

Here are four possible connections between the health of your mouth and the overall health of your body.

  • Excessive oral inflammation has been linked to a greater incidence of clogged arteries.
  • The American Society of Microbiology has revealed that certain types of oral bacteria can infect the arterial cells and weaken the wall of the heart.
  • Loose teeth are often thought to be a warning sign for osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones to become less dense.
  • Some studies suggest that women with gum disease are more likely than those without gum disease to deliver pre-term, low-weight babies.

The connection between orthodontics and gum disease.

So what does undergoing orthodontic treatment at Horner Barrow Orthodontics have to do with gum disease? Braces do so much more than just give you a nice-looking, straight smile. Quite simply, straight teeth are easier to keep clean than crooked or misaligned teeth. Your toothbrush is able to remove more plaque-causing bacteria, and your floss is more effective at removing tiny particles between your teeth.

Despite the lack of hard facts in these findings, the message is clear: if you improve your oral health, you will also have a greater chance of maintaining the health of your entire body. That’s a chance Dr. Horner and Dr. Barrow and our team at Horner Barrow Orthodontics believe is worth taking. For more information regarding this topic, please give us a call at our convenient Sioux Falls, SD office, or ask Dr. Horner or Dr. Barrow about it during your next visit!