Sure, having a mouth full of clean, straight teeth and a winning smile may help you dazzle friends and family. But, did you know that straightening your teeth can also have substantial benefits for your oral health? It’s true.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, teeth straightening can make it easier for patients to improve their oral health and avoid some of the most common oral health problems, such as cavities and gum disease. Wondering if getting straighter teeth is the right move for you? Read on to learn all about the ways in which straighter teeth can help improve your oral health — not just make you look great.
Straighter Teeth Are Easier To Clean
It sounds simple, but it’s true. The main ways to keep your teeth clean are brushing and flossing. Both require tools that can adequately reach in between teeth and remove any plaque, or bacteria. It’s more difficult to reach in-between teeth and properly clean them when your teeth are overcrowded or pushed together.
What’s more, not only overcrowded teeth are more difficult to clean, but they’re also more painful to clean. Many people who experience difficulties in flossing with overcrowded teeth are aware of the risks of accidentally cutting or irritating their gums. This makes the process of flossing difficult and uncomfortable. Because people are more likely to continue flossing when it’s an easy and relatively painless task, straightening teeth is likely to be a motivating factor in helping people floss more often and more effectively.
Clean Teeth Are Healthier Teeth
The build-up of plaque on your teeth doesn’t just lead to a less impressive smile. It can also lead to serious health complications. For example, plaque can cause gingivitis, also known as gum disease, which is an inflammation of the gums that occurs when bacteria infect the tissues surrounding your teeth. Additionally, the bacteria in your mouth can attack the top layer of the teeth called enamel, damaging the surface of your teeth (in a process called tooth decay) or creating holes, which are called cavities. If left untreated tooth decay can lead to pain, infections and even tooth loss.
When your teeth are straighter, it’s easier to reach in between them to remove the plaque that’s built up within your mouth. By straightening your teeth and thus allowing yourself to more effectively brush and floss, you can help avoid oral health complications such as gum disease or tooth decay.
Overcrowded Teeth Can Be A Headache — Literally
People with overcrowded or misaligned teeth can experience teeth grinding, which commonly occurs at night. Many patients who grind their teeth while they sleep wake up in the morning with dull headaches and sore jaws, which can range from being moderately uncomfortable to extremely painful. Teeth straightening allows people to reduce their nighttime clenching and grinding, thus diminishing the wear and tear on their teeth and avoiding further health complications, such as fractured or loosened teeth.
Additionally, grinding one’s teeth can lead to problems with one’s jaw, such as TMJ, which can result in jaw pain or discomfort as well as difficulty speaking or eating (see below). Overall, straighter and correctly aligned teeth can make it less likely for patients to grind their teeth during the day or night, making it easier for them to live productive, painless lives.
Teeth Straightening Can Make It Easier To Eat And Speak
Overcrowded teeth, which is technically known as malocclusion of the teeth, means the teeth in your mouth are not properly aligned. Deviations from the proper alignment of your teeth can lead to serious issues that may affect your ability to speak or even eat. For example, overcrowded teeth may make it difficult for your tongue to properly move around your mouth, which in turn may make it hard to pronounce certain letters or sounds (typically sibilants, which are “sh” or “s” sounds), resulting in a lisp. Straighter teeth can eliminate this difficulty by allowing you to form sounds properly in your mouth, removing the resulting lisp, which can make many people feel self-conscious.
Additionally, straight teeth allow you to chew food more effectively, making eating far more pleasurable and less painful than eating with crooked or overcrowded teeth. Even better? Food that is chewed more thoroughly is easier to digest and can have more nutrients extracted from it further along in the digestive process. If you wish that it were easier and less painful to eat and speak, there’s hope: straightening your teeth can help.
Straighter Teeth Can Boost Your Self-Esteem
Whether you’re self-conscious about a lisp, visible plaque buildup that you can’t quite reach due to difficulties in flossing, or simply the way your crooked smile looks in photos, we understand. Having overcrowded teeth can be a difficult and painful part of life. Straighter teeth can not only reduce the oral health risks discussed above, but they can also increase your self-esteem and improve your quality of life. And before you dismiss that as a nothing more than a nice perk, consider this. A 2014 study showed that seniors who had strong self-esteem were able to significantly avoid some of the major health problems associated with aging.
Whether you want straight teeth so you can finally start showing off an open-mouth smile or you just want to feel less self-conscious about eating or speaking in public, straightening your teeth can have a strong impact on your self-esteem as well as your overall health.
Straightening Your Teeth Is Simple
If you’re intrigued by the benefits of having straighter teeth — i.e., having teeth that are cleaner, healthier, less likely to affect your lifestyle, and able to boost your self-esteem — then it’s never too late to get started. With today’s innovations in modern teeth straightening, it’s never been easier or more painless to get the smile you’ve always wanted to have.
If the idea of having a dazzling smile full of straight, healthy teeth sounds good to you, check out the invisible aligners offered by ALIGNERCO. Get started today by completing a free assessment and ordering our clear aligners to get the healthy, radiant smile of your dreams.
Schult, A. (2020, August 31). Why Do Straight Teeth Matter? American Association of Orthodontists. https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/why-do-straight-teeth-matter/
Why Straight Teeth are Important to Your Oral Health: Millennium Park Orthodontics: Orthodontics. (n.d.). Millennium Park Orthodontics. https://www.millenniumparkortho.com/blog/why-straight-teeth-are-important-to-your-oral-health
Gum Disease Myths – American Dental Association. (n.d.). Mouth Healthy – American Dental Association. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/common-myths-of-gum-disease
Tooth Decay. (n.d.). MedlinePlus – National Library of Medicine (NLM). https://medlineplus.gov/toothdecay.html
Dental Health and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism). (2003, June 3). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/teeth-grinding-bruxism#1-2
Burke, D. (2016, December 19). Malocclusion of the Teeth. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/malocclusion-of-teeth
Cirino, E. (2020, March 20). Chewing Your Food: Is 32 Really the Magic Number? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-many-times-should-you-chew-your-food
Concordia University. (2014, March 12). Boosting self-esteem prevents health problems for seniors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 5, 2021 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312132623.htm