And why is Dr Fairclough smiling more….
You may not have noticed but I have new teeth…..
Don’t worry, they’re not quite Turkey teeth, but in prep for my upcoming wedding in August, I wanted to smarten up my gnashers. I used some of those clear retainers to push my teeth about and align them better. As a result, I’m much happier with my smile and how they look but actually when you think about it, orthodontics is a lot like chiropractic.
It’s strange when you think about it though, because if they are so similar, why is there such a disparity in how each is used? Most people go to a dentist on a regular basis for a check-up and (I hope) brush their teeth twice daily. But how many see a chiropractor regularly and do their postural exercises daily? Maybe
I’m preaching to the wrong crowd here as you would have direct experience of the benefits of chiropractic, but does that happen generally? One of my mentors always used to say that if our spines were on our faces, we would look after them better.
Yes chiropractic is known as being a great technique for pain relief, but in it’s foundation the goal of chiropractic care is to restore function and improve the overall health of the body by realigning the spine and improving the communication of the nervous system.
We use adjustments to mobilize the spine and improve alignment. The goal of these techniques is to increase joint range of motion, causing less stress on the surrounding nerves, less pain, less muscle tension and therefore improved overall health and wellness.
Orthodontic treatment focuses on the alignment of the teeth and jaw with the goal of improving the function of the bite, correcting any irregularities in the teeth and improving oral health.
Orthodontists use a variety of techniques to correct alignment issues including braces, aligners, and retainers. These devices work by applying pressure to the teeth, gradually shifting them into the desired position over time. Sounds similar right?
- Both focus on improving the alignment of their respective structures.
- Both use gradual correction. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were a healthy spine and a good set of teeth. They both take time to change their alignment and structure.
- Both improve overall health by improving alignment and function and both practices can reduce pain and improve range of motion. Consequently, that improved alignment can help to prevent future injuries or complications.
- Both need maintaining longer term even after the main correction has occurred. Even with braces, people usually need to wear fixed or possibly daily removable retainers after their teeth have been corrected. Similarly with chiropractic we always recommend regular wellness visits for the future. For both professions, this helps to reduce the likelihood of problems recurring and the loss of the good progress made.
So in conclusion, while chiropractic and orthodontic treatment might seem different on the surface, they actually go hand in hand in terms of goals and recommendations. Both focus on improving alignment, use gradual correction, can improve overall health and wellness and need maintaining over time. So let’s smile, sit up straight and keep doing those healthy habits of getting adjusted and brushing our teeth.
Mark Fairclough, MChiro, DC