Why Does Having Straight Teeth Matter?: 11 Benefits Of Straight Teeth
It would be safe to say that everyone wants a smile that they are proud to show off. But, did you know that the benefits of straight teeth go far beyond a better-looking smile? Braces, Invisalign, and other treatments are for much more than just aesthetics.
Like the American Association Of Orthodontists (AAO) describes, your teeth are like the gears on a wheel. They are made to fit together a certain way to allow you to chew properly. If they don’t fit together properly, they can’t do their job as effectively and it can quickly lead to other oral health issues.
There are many significant oral health benefits of straight teeth, and your oral health has a direct connection to your overall health.
In this article, we’ll break down the common question, “does having straight teeth matter, really?” by going through some of the top benefits. Let’s take a look:
#1 Straight Teeth Are Easier To Clean
Teeth that are crooked means more places for food and plaque to hide that get missed when brushing. When teeth are aligned straight, you can more easily clean them and remove harmful plaque. This is because you have better access to your teeth and gums for proper brushing and flossing.
Plaque that is leftover and not properly brushed away will interact with the food you eat and release acids. These acids are what will quickly cause cavities. Continued tooth decay can become expensive to treat and lead to further problems like increased pain and even tooth loss.
#2 You’ll Have Healthier Gums
If you can’t properly clean your teeth, plaque buildup can lead to gum disease. The earliest stages of gum disease are known as Gingivitis. With Gingivitis, you’ll most likely have red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Eventually, if not remedied, this progresses into the more severe form of gum disease known as Periodontitis. With Periodontitis, the toxins in the plaque eat away at the bone and ligaments that hold the teeth in place, making it a leading cause of tooth loss. Thus, because straight teeth are easier to clean, you’ll also have healthier gums.
Healthy gums are also a great example of the connection between oral health and overall health. Studies by the American Dental Association (ADA) have proven that bacteria from plaque can create oral infections. Many of these oral infections can then lead to systemic problems that affect the rest of your body and your overall health. These problems include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature birth.
When your teeth and gums are kept healthy, you give the rest of your body a better chance of being healthy as well.
#3 You Can Maintain Jawbone Strength & Health
When your teeth are not straight and in alignment, jawbone problems can also develop.
A misaligned bite or significant spacing between teeth can put undue stress on the gums and teeth. This can lead to the breakdown of the bones that support the teeth, leading to pain and possible tooth loss. Aligning your bite and straightening the teeth through orthodontic treatment will help prevent this.
#4 Straight Teeth Can Be Less Prone To Injury
Nobody wants to worry about getting their teeth chipped, broken, or even knocked out in an accident. But, teeth that protrude, especially at the front of your mouth, are much more susceptible to trauma. Working with an orthodontist to shift your teeth back into the correct places and in alignment will help keep them out of harm’s way.
#5 You’ll Avoid Additional “Wear & Tear” On Your Teeth
As we mentioned above, when your bite is not in alignment it puts undue stress on your teeth. This includes added wear of your teeth enamel, possible chipping of your teeth, and sometimes even teeth grinding (known as bruxism). So, when you have straight teeth, you’ll avoid additional unnecessary “wear and tear” on your teeth.
#6 Straight Teeth Reduce Aches & Discomfort
When your bite is not correct, part of the undue stress put on your mouth happens specifically in your jaw joint due to uneven bite forces throughout your mouth. In turn, this can cause uncomfortable TMJ pain, headaches, and even migraines.
With straight teeth, you’ll also experience much less soft tissue injuries. This is because crooked teeth can push against the soft tissues in your mouth causing sores, cuts, and infections.
#7 Some Sleep Issues Can Be Resolved
Research also suggests that misaligned jaw positioning, size, and craniofacial abnormalities could be the cause of some sleep issues like sleep apnea. Orthodontic treatment to straighten and align your teeth and jaw can help provide relief.
In cases in children, to try and cure sleep apnea, sometimes a custom mouthpiece or interceptive orthodontic treatment using appliances followed by a round of braces or Invisalign are successful. In adults with a severe malocclusion (bad bite) and sleep apnea, orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth combined with a surgical plan may be beneficial.
#8 You’ll Be Able To Chew & Speak Properly
Not having straight teeth can sometimes make it difficult to speak properly and chew food efficiently and comfortably. When your food is not able to be chewed properly and completely, digestive problems like indigestion and more frequent gas can occur. This is because more digestion has to be done in the stomach or intestines to break down the larger pieces of food.
Productive chewing is also is crucial for your body to be able to get a well-balanced diet containing all of your necessary vitamins and minerals. Straight teeth and an aligned bite will allow you to chew properly and sufficiently.
#9 Straight Teeth Can Help Prepare Your Mouth For Implants
Sometimes if you have missing teeth, this can cause the teeth on either side of the space to shift out of place even more. When it comes time to address the missing teeth, in many cases, orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth is the best way to create sufficient space for dental implants. Then, getting dental implants will restore your ability to chew and speak properly.
#10 You’ll End Up Saving More Money In The Long Run
As you can probably see by now, having straight teeth means less chance of other future dental problems. This will save you money in the long run because you’ll spend less time needing further costly dental work.
# 11 Straight Teeth Will Give You A More Attractive & Confident Smile
Aside from the health benefits we covered above, there is another benefit of straight teeth that can’t be ignored. Straight teeth make your smile look more attractive, giving you more confidence and a boost of self-esteem.
In a perfect world, outside appearance wouldn’t matter as much as it does sometimes. But, our society still places a lot of importance on smiles. A study in the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics discovered that people with straight teeth and ideal smiles were viewed as more intelligent and more likely to be hired for a job. Subjects in another study rated people with straight teeth as happier, more successful, smarter, and wealthier. So, when you have an attractive smile with straight teeth, it can give you an advantage in several different situations, including your career.
Take Advantage Of The Benefits Of Straight Teeth
By now, hopefully, you can see that the benefits of having straight teeth are much more significant than just cosmetic improvement. Straightening your teeth through orthodontics is a sure way to improve not only your confidence but also your oral health and overall health.
An experienced orthodontic team, like you’ll find here at Cook & Gutsche Orthodontics, can develop a plan for you on how to achieve straight teeth, while also ensuring a healthy bite that is functioning properly. You are never too old to achieve straight teeth! You can get a healthy, beautiful smile at any age.
We have the technology, skills, and experience to give you your best smile. To learn more about the benefits of straight teeth and the orthodontic treatment options available to you, contact our team today!