When it comes to straightening your teeth, it’s easy to focus on the cosmetic benefits. After all, having straighter teeth makes your smile look a lot more attractive and even downright sexy, and that means it’ll help you feel more confident, too. But a better-looking smile is just one benefit of having your teeth straightened. As it turns out, having straighter teeth can improve your oral health, as well (and it just might improve your overall health, too).
This benefit should be pretty obvious. When your teeth are crooked, there are plenty of nooks and crannies where food particles and bacteria can hide. Get a toothbrush into all those tiny cracks and crevices can be difficult, if not impossible. Trapped food particles provide plenty of food for bacteria. And when bacteria start to multiply, they can eat away at your tooth material, causing cavities that can eventually reach way down into the central pulp portion of the tooth. For that reason, crooked or poorly aligned teeth can make it a lot easier to develop cavities that require fillings or even root canals and crowns.
TMJ (or temporomandibular joint disorder) is a major cause of jaw pain and chronic headaches, and it can also cause a really serious grinding habit that can damage your tooth enamel. TMJ develops when your bite pattern or bite balance is out of whack. Your teeth are designed to line up — tops and bottoms — and work in pairs. When your teeth aren’t aligned properly, the balance gets thrown off, too. As a result, your jaw muscles and joints will strain to try to rebalance your bite, leading to painful inflammation in the jaw joints. And all that strain in and around your jaws also causes chronic headaches, especially in the mornings. An uneven bite balance can also put excess wear on certain parts of your teeth, wearing away enamel and increasing the risk of developing a cavity.
Just as a straighter smile can reduce your risks for cavities, it can also lower your risk for developing gum disease. Also called periodontal disease, gum disease develops when bacteria along your gum line migrate down the tooth surface, creating openings or pockets as they go. These pockets allow more bacteria to reach the lower parts of your teeth, all the way down to your roots. When the tooth roots get infected, your teeth become loose and eventually fall out. Because crooked teeth make it a lot harder to brush and floss effectively, you can wind up with whole colonies of bacteria along your gum lines in those areas that are difficult to reach. And that means your risks of both gum disease and tooth loss can be significantly greater compared to someone with straight teeth that are easy to clean and care for.
Those same bacteria that cause gum disease have been implicated in other diseases and medical conditions, as well, like heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, respriatory disease, and even some types of cancer. By having your teeth straightened and reducing your risk of gum disease, you could potentially reduce your risks for these medical problems as well.
Health benefits are important reasons why you should consider having your teeth straightened, but there’s a budgetary reason as well. While it might seem like orthodontic treatment with Invisalign© or a similar method is costly, the price of treatment pales in comparison to what your future dental bills could be if your crooked teeth cause major cavities, gum disease, TMJ, or tooth loss.
At The Dental Touch, we offer the state-of-the-art Invisalign system to help our patients enjoy straighter teeth in far less time than with traditional orthodontics. Shorter treatment times mean you can see your final results a lot faster, and it also means fewer office visits to deal with. Plus, the aligners are virtually invisible while they’re in your mouth, so you won’t feel self-conscious during your treatment. Considering all the benefits straighter teeth can bring you, there’s really no reason to put off your treatment. To learn more about Invisalign treatment at The Dental Touch and how it could help you enjoy all the benefits of a more beautiful smile, book an appointment online today.