On your last visit, your dentist may have recommended orthodontic therapy to either correct the alignment of your teeth or fix problems with your bite. If that’s the case, don’t worry, you are not alone. At least four million people in America wear braces or clear aligners at any one time. And while there’s no denying the effectiveness of the treatment on a cosmetic level, the overall health benefits are nothing to sneeze at. First Dental Associates would like to share with you today exactly how straightening your teeth can change your life.
If you have crooked teeth, you’ll notice that there are several places where your toothbrush or floss just can’t reach. Such hidden areas allow harmful bacteria and food particles to accumulate, making you more susceptible to all manner of oral health problems, from cavities to gingivitis. So consider getting braces or clear aligners to allow for better cleaning between teeth, less buildup of bacteria, and fewer cavities to worry about.. After all, we wouldn’t want all the effort you’ve put into creating and sticking to an oral routine to go down the drain, would we?
Because it’s harder to keep overcrowded or misaligned teeth clean, bacteria can easily run rampant and cause plaque to build up along your gums. If left untreated, plaque leads to gingivitis—which is typically the first stage of periodontitis. It can also cause inflammation, making eating uncomfortable. Thankfully, with a good oral routine, straightening your teeth, and regular dental checkups, you can lower the risk of developing gum disease.
It’s universally accepted that eating healthy and keeping fit can help you live longer, but did you also know that oral hygiene has been linked to life expectancy? Since straight teeth are easier to clean and reduce risks of gum disease, we can also conclude that correcting malocclusions (fancy dental speak meaning misalignment) plays an important role in helping you live longer. This is because your mouth is the gateway to your body, and any bad bacteria in your mouth can be inhaled into your lungs and reach other parts of your body.
Brushing and flossing are normally fun when you have straight teeth. Straightening your teeth and seeing them in the mirror or being complimented on your great smile can inspire you to develop a solid dental hygiene routine. Think about it. Human beings cherish and care for the people they love as well as the things that make them look good. Whether it’s a God-given set or braces-aligned dentures, straightening your teeth can encourage you to take up and maintain a good oral hygiene routine.
While it’s true damage to teeth can happen to anyone, the injuries are much worse for people with crooked teeth. Why? For one, straight teeth create a strong unified wall, making breaks, cracks, or chips less likely to occur. On the other hand, people with misaligned teeth usually have at least one tooth protruding (buck teeth), and such teeth are vulnerable to injury from, say, contact sports, accidental falls, or even a run-of-the-mill fisticuff. By getting your buck teeth pushed back into their proper place, you’ll find your smile (read: teeth) less susceptible to injury.
A balanced bite can make it easier to bite down and enjoy your favorite foods. When teeth are not aligned, chewing properly becomes difficult. Not only that, but having an underbite or overbite can also make the teeth on opposite jaws rub against each other and wear out your enamel, which in turn makes your teeth more brittle and sensitive to changes in temperature. Straightening your teeth out with braces fixes awkward chewing motions, prevents accelerated wear and tear of the enamel, and improves your bite.
As much as we would all like to think differently, appearances matter. Walking into a big job interview or a first date with straight white teeth can boost your self-esteem and overall confidence. You’ll know you’re putting your best foot (smile) forward, and the person you’re talking to will respond to your positive demeanor, increasing your chances of landing that perfect job or impressing a new love interest.
While our parents may have raised us with the “Do as I say, not as I do” motto, our children expect us to act differently. Orthodontic treatments have less social stigma nowadays but teenagers live in a whole different stratosphere. If you’re a parent with misaligned teeth, getting fitted for braces or other dental treatments for straightening your teeth can set an example for your kids. It’s like telling them, “Look, mom and dad have done it and you can too,” without actually saying it. You never know, it may just be the push they need to let you take them to the dentist.
Have you noticed how it’s always the person with the straight white teeth who smiles the most? Even when the jokes aren’t that funny and the mood is somber, you can always count on them to flash a grin. They may not even be happy, but they know how good their teeth look when they smile, so they go ear-to-ear every chance they get. That’s one of the superpowers straightening your teeth come with.
If all the other reasons listed in this post haven’t made seeking orthodontic treatment a no-brainer, this point might just do the trick. Having straight teeth saves you money. Sure, the initial cost of Invisalign or braces can be expensive, but the long-term benefits to your oral health and appearance make it all worth it. You’ll be at a lower risk of developing dental issues like cavities, gingivitis, and decay, which can damage teeth and, over time, lead to costly prosthodontic work, such as crowns, veneers, and implants.
Straightening your teeth can improve your appearance, there’s no denying that, but after reading this you know that’s not the only thing it does. If you’re interested in orthodontic therapy and researching treatment options, feel free to give us a call or schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you smile.