Health Benefits of Straight Teeth
Orthodontics changes the way that people feel about themselves, while providing numerous health benefits. Dr. Bowen of Great Big Smiles says, “Although most people believe the only plus to fixing crooked and overlapping teeth is for cosmetic reasons, I cannot express how advantageous it is for our health, as well.”
As children, our parents reminded us to brush our teeth twice a day, forcing dentist appointments on the whole family every six months. As annoying as it may have been to add this thirty seconds to the bedtime routine, our parents and dentists only wanted to protect our teeth from plaque build up, gum disease, and decay. Unfortunately, having the ability to clean your teeth properly is severely inhibited when teeth are not straight. Crooked teeth make it hard to floss correctly, trapping food in hard to reach spaces. When teeth are straight, there is more surface area that can be brushed, and less area for food to hide in.
The pressure caused by overcrowding of teeth in the gums causes inflammation and redness, that can not only be unsightly, but painful. In the case of inflamed gums, there is an increase in the potential for gum disease because bacteria is more likely to build up in the oral cavity. Straight teeth reduce inflammation and bacteria that is better cleaned out because the hard to reach places are exposed.
Teeth that are crowded in the mouth also provide excess force on the bone that surrounds the tooth, weakening the bone. Teeth become more susceptible to loss and decay, not to mention the jaw discomfort that can quickly become painful. If the jaw deviates even slightly due to the stress of crowded teeth, headaches can become frequent.
Dr. Bowen explains, “One problem that patients frequently complain about it is cracked teeth. Crooked teeth press against one another causing damage usually avoided by straight teeth. Tooth on tooth pressure causes cracks and chips. This wear and tear can be detrimental for enamel, which is easily worn down.”
Oral health is vital to more than just the well being of our mouths. When teeth are straight it is much easier to keep them clean, which has been found to reduce not only gum disease, but heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Feeling great about the way you look is important, but making sure how you feel inside matches the outside means even more.