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Student Athletes and Orthodontic Treatments

When you set a goal to be a better athlete, you start taking steps to help you improve. You might hire a trainer, take lessons, or give more time to practicing. But it probably never crossed your mind to schedule an orthodontic treatment with Upper East Side Orthodontics, did it? Probably not. But recently some studies have found that athletes and orthodontic treatments may be more connected than previously thought. It may be able to help with more than just improving your smile. It seems your self-esteem is improved, and it can help you have better balance and posture.

Malocclusion and Balance Control

Researchers from two universities collaborated in the study and discovered that malocclusion, or a bad bite, negatively affected the ability to control balance and posture. They concluded that by addressing a malocclusion and shifting the jaw into a neutral position, posture was improved. One such study also demonstrated that having teeth misaligned adversely affects the ability to control static balance. So, there may be a direct connection between athletes and orthodontic treatments.

Malocclusion and Posture Control

A different study revealed that once malocclusions were corrected, balance improved, and this had an impact on posture. It noted the effect was more noticeable when participants were fatigued than it was when they were rested. The link between the two is explained through neurophysiology. Controlling posture is done from your sensory and motor elements that use the information received from the sensory, vestibular and somatosensory systems in the body. Orthodontic treatment from a New York, NY orthodontist then, can help people achieve better posture and balance. But athletes, in particular, may benefit from the treatments. By improving balance and posture, they defend themselves from instability and falls. Your bite does affect balance, especially if you are standing on an unstable base. This influence was found to increase after engaging in intense exercise.

Improving Athletic Performance Through Orthodontic Treatments

Science Daily explains that improving an athlete’s balance and posture control can help improve their performance as an athlete. But this can also help prevent injuries that often take them out of the game such as sprains, fractures, and strains. The key then, to increase stability is to make sure the jaw is in a neutral position. An orthodontist must first identify the type of malocclusion. Some of the most common types include:

  • An overjet used to be called “buck teeth.” It occurs when the top teeth preclude outward over the bottom teeth. 
  • A misplaced midline is when the upper front teeth don’t line up properly in the center. They are out of line with the lower teeth, lips, and nose.
  • A crossbite is when the upper teeth come down behind the lower teeth on one side or the other when biting down.
  • An overbite occurs when the upper teeth overlap the bottom teeth too far when a person is biting down.
  • An underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth when biting.
  • An open bite occurs when the front teeth fail to overlap the bottom teeth when the jaws are closed.

It will take more research to know for sure if orthodontic treatments will be beneficial for improving athletic performance.

Contact Upper East Side Orthodontics

Whether or not you are an athlete or concerned about your athletic performance, malocclusions need to be assessed by an orthodontist. One of our orthodontists either Dr. Vaysman, Dr. Basir, or  Dr. Jahn’Shahi can recommend treatments that will help improve your bite, your smile, and maybe your game!