How Improving Your Posture Can Improve Your Oral Health

Oral Health

Since we were kids, the loving adult figures in our lives have reminded us that our posture is important. Better posture leads to healthier joints, and stronger backs and necks. However, there is another slightly hidden benefit of good posture that can make a lifelong impact. Proper posture promotes a healthy smile and can help prevent potential problems with your jaw and teeth.

Sit Up So You Can Relax Your Jaw While Scrolling on Facebook

When you think about how muscularly connected the human back is, it’s easy to see how the overlapping muscle systems can create uneven or uncomfortable tightness if they are held in one position for a long time. We’ve all been sore or have had cramps before from holding ourselves in one position for too longer. However, this discomfort can become habitual, and can affect our health.

When we sit and scroll through our phone, our bodies arch downward with the weight of our heads. Simply stated, when we slouch our lower jaw is pushed farther forward and our skull sits farther back on our spinal column. This not only puts pressure on the base of your neck and in your upper back, it can put pressure on our jaws, too, causing our bite to be misaligned.

When our teeth are improperly aligned, our jaw compensates to bring them together. This directly affects our oral health. So, while we’re sitting, haphazardly scrolling through Instagram or reading the news, our jaws are clenched, even if we don’t realize it.

Not only does this prevent your body from fully relaxing, it also can stress our jaw joints over time, causing pain in the associated muscles, and in some cases causing inflammation. Too much clenching for too long can even cause damage to our teeth.

While You’re In Braces, Stand Up And Sit Up Straight!

The stereotype is almost engrained in our minds: teens leaned over on their phones or slumped on the couch playing video games, hunched over in class or even falling asleep on their desks. However, when you’re slumped over, whether it’s to read or to catch some quick Z’s while your teacher’s not paying attention, if you are wearing braces, your slouching could affect your treatment.

Even adults who are receiving orthodontic treatments aren’t immune from the ill-affects of slouching on their teeth and jaws. Sitting in a desk all day, hunching over a computer, or slouching while you drive can all lead to poor posture and tight jaws.

Standing up straight in these scenarios provides lots of benefits. For one, you either pay better attention in class or at work, or you’ll learn how to draw very convincing eyes on your glasses lenses so you can sleep sitting up. But most importantly, you’re valuing your treatment and are preventing future health problems. Your smile is an investment, and orthodontic corrections can prevent problems and even pain that can occur down the line.

The way that your teeth are aligned directly affects the way you hold your jaw. If your jaw is not properly aligned, this issue can carry down throughout your neck, shoulders, back, and even down to your pelvis. Some studies suggest that misalignment can be felt even down to your feet.

Structural misalignment in your body is a nuisance. It hurts, it can cause migraines, and it can detract from your ability to enjoy moments in your life confidently. Sitting up straight throughout your orthodontics treatment can prevent your corrective work from giving you any residual pain.

If you want the best oral health results from your orthodontics treatment check your posture. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with carrying yourself a little straighter. You deserve to!

So, How Does Your Posture Stack Up?

Having good posture will make you feel like you’re centered and balanced. Your vertebrae will stack on top of each other evenly, without undue pull in one direction or another. If you feel like you’re standing as tall as possible without straining yourself, you are probably practicing good posture habits.

If you want to have better posture, practice these movements:

  • Try lifting your chest up and rolling your shoulder blades back and down. Your chest should feel open. Not only will this fix your posture, it also helps you breathe deeper. This relaxes your jaw even further.
  • Tightening your stomach muscles helps support your core, which takes some of the strain of supporting yourself off of your back. Removing this strain can help you relax your jaw.
  • If you’re standing, your body should have a straight line that runs from your ears, through your shoulders, down your hips then through your knees, then directly to your angles. This allows you to balance without being pulled in one direction or another.
  • It’s easy to slouch when you’re sitting. However, if you draw an imaginary line from your ears to your hips, you’ll be practicing proper posture.

While good posture isn’t the only thing that affects your oral health and orthodontics treatments, paying attention to how you hold yourself now can help you in the future.

Taking care of your health is a holistic exercise, and you cannot affect one part of your body without affecting the rest of it. Being mindful of your back, neck, shoulders, and jaws during your orthodontics treatments furthers the usefulness of your investment, and gives you better results. Besides, you look good. Be confident in your care of yourself and your body, and give yourself permission to stand up a little straighter.

If you have questions or concerns about your posture and how it may affect any future orthodontics treatments, schedule an appointment with your orthodontic office. Your orthodontist will be able to show you ways to minimize the effects of your posture on your jaw.

If you’re currently in the market for an orthodontist in the Philadelphia area, our practice may be right for you. To schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office.