How Straighter Teeth Can Improve Other Areas of Your Life
Straightening teeth is not done solely for the aesthetic benefits. Although many adults enjoy having a straight smile, orthodontic treatment is often necessary to improve overall health as well. In fact, anywhere from 25% to 50% of all children need to have their teeth straightened not solely to correct crookedness, but also to improve how well they eat, speak, and function.
Here are some of the ways how straighter teeth can improve other areas of your life besides your social media smile.
Straight Teeth Result in Healthier Teeth and Gums
While many people assume possessing straighter teeth just has a cosmetic benefit, they are actually essential for keeping the teeth and gums healthy and strong. When the teeth are not aligned, they become difficult to clean. Individuals with crooked teeth, overbites, or underbites struggle to remove plaque and food particles, resulting in an increased risk for cavities and decay.
At the same time, individuals with crooked or misaligned teeth can also risk the health of their gums. Gum disease, also called gingivitis or periodontal disease, is when the soft tissues around the teeth become infected. Although gum disease is typically thought of as an adult problem, recent studies indicate at least half of children are now being diagnosed.
At the same time, individuals who have issues like overbites are more susceptible to gum scraping. This is when the teeth dig into and scrape against the gums which hold the teeth into place. If the gums become too damaged, they can recede and slowly be chipped away, often resulting in loose teeth and even permanent tooth loss.
Having straighter teeth therefore makes it easier to eliminate plaque and food particles, helping people of all ages maintain proper oral health. It also reduces the likelihood of excess damage to the teeth and gums overall.
Reduced Risk of Physical Damage
Misaligned teeth are more likely to be chipped, cracked, or broken through accidents and physical activity. This problem can be seen among individuals who have overbites in particular. They are more at risk because the teeth protrude and are at an angle, making them easier to hit during a fall or accident while playing sports. The angle also places more strain on the nearby gums, which can cause the teeth to loosen and eventually fall out.
Prevent Headaches and Jaw Pain
A common ailment around the world is TMD, which is a disorder that affects temporomandibular joints – the ones which connect the jaw to the skull. These joints are necessary to open the mouth, eat, drink, and speak.
When someone has misaligned teeth, it places extra pressure on the joints of the jaw. Over time, this pressure can lead to exhausted and stretched muscles which are painful to use. Too much pressure can also affect the underlying bone, causing the joint to pop and crack.
At the same time, when the joint is under pressure, it affects the rest of the skull. Someone with misaligned teeth is more likely to experience headaches from all of the extra pressure created by the misalignment. For this reason, more and more orthodontists are recommending dental orthodontics to correct these issues.
Better Digestion and Speech
Children with moderate to severe misalignments are prone to numerous problems. These issues are more prevalent among kids because they are in their formative years. They are just learning how to properly eat, chew, and speak. Any misalignment will therefore have a lasting impact on how well they function and engage in regular behaviors.
Two common issues are being able to eat and speak well. Children with problems like overbites and underbites struggle to chew their food, leading to poor digestion and nutrition. At the same time, they can struggle to master the tongue movements necessary to speak correctly and are more prone to issues like lisps.
When someone has straighter teeth, eating and speaking becomes easier because the jaws are properly aligned.
Reduced Abnormal Tooth Wear
Once again, crooked or misaligned teeth can cause a host of issues for a person. One of the most frequently seen by dentists and orthodontists is abnormal wear and tear on specific teeth.
How does this happen?
Over time, the teeth naturally wear each other down and cause problems like a flat chewing surface, cracks, and chips. When the teeth are misaligned, one or two specific teeth often end up taking the brunt of the physical activity and are therefore more prone to damage.
A common example is when one tooth is crooked and blocking another that is nearby. The tooth doing the blocking will receive twice as much activity as those around it, doubling the likelihood of damage.
Having straightened teeth ensures all of them are receiving an equal amount of pressure so there is little to no abnormal wear and tear.
Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem
Finally, straighter teeth can make it easier to socialize and feel confident about one’s appearance and abilities. Studies performed by dentists and specialists discovered individuals with straight teeth were twice as confident as those who has a misalignment. It was easier for them to make new friends, speak up in public, and otherwise laugh or smile around other people.
Confidence and self-esteem can be tied back to the appearance of straight teeth. In the majority of cultures, they are seen as healthy and desirable, which makes a person more attractive to strangers. This boosts social confidence and can help children and adults be more social and outgoing.
Possessing a straight smile can vastly improve not only the appearance of the teeth, but how well someone engages in natural behaviors. It reduces the risk of long lasting issues like tooth decay and gum disease, and also reduces an individual’s chances of developing chronic conditions like headaches and joint pain.
If you would like to straighten your teeth, contact Center City orthodontists today. One of our professionals will be able to walk you through the process of wearing dental orthodontics to improve your overall health and wellness.
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