Straight teeth do look good, and as a result, people often think of teeth straightening interventions as being cosmetic. While it’s certainly true that you will feel more confident with straight teeth that allow you to flash a bright smile that you know looks great, there are also health benefits to having your teeth straightened.
You Can Clean Them Properly
When teeth are skew, and the bite is bad, the malocclusion often involves areas where the teeth are too close together. That makes them very hard to clean properly. The chain of events that follows is easy to imagine. Plaque builds up, and bacteria breed. From there, it’s just a hop and a skip to tooth decay.
You’re More Prone to Gum Disease
It would be great for dentists and their patients alike if oral bacteria only contributed to tooth decay, but they don’t stop there. From the teeth, they move to the gums. They cause abscesses, and they cause infections that can spread to the jaw and beyond.
You Teeth Suffer from Wear and Tear
When your jaw closes, your teeth should fit together neatly and comfortably. But when those teeth are skew, the teeth don’t have that comfy fit. Upper and lower teeth engage in a battle with hard tooth enamel wearing down the opposing teeth. And once the enamel is sufficiently damaged, tooth decay can attack the vulnerable inner pulp of the teeth.
Migraines and TMJ Disorder
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) where the lower jaw hinges onto the upper one is susceptible to damage when your teeth are poorly aligned. Although maloccluded teeth aren’t the only culprits in TMJ disorder, which also causes migraines, they certainly do have a role to play.
You Become a Mouth Breather
Although not all people with maloccluded teeth become mouth breathers, some do. Breathing through your mouth increases your chances of tooth decay because it dries up the saliva that is meant to coat and protect your teeth. You’re also more likely to be a heavy snorer, and that affects your sleep even if you aren’t aware of it.
Your Face Doesn’t Look as Good as it Could, and Your Speech is Affected
Your teeth, their presence or absence, and the way in which they are aligned, contribute to the way your face looks. Teeth also help us to shape words, and skew teeth can cause speech impediments or just make it hard to produce certain sounds correctly.
Teeth Straightening Options
If you have skew teeth, it’s worth asking your dentist about tooth straightening options such as Invisalign Clear Braces or traditional braces. These range from fixed braces on the outside or inside of your teeth to transparent aligners that you can remove when you eat and clean your teeth. The latter are not suitable for everyone, but they are the best option because braces make it harder to clean your teeth properly.
Find out what your options are and how long the tooth straightening process is likely to take. Your dentist will give you food for thought.