Overall Health Benefits of Straight Teeth
If you’re doing an online search for “orthodontist near me” either for yourself or your teen, you’ve come to the right place. At First Dental Associates, we understand that the benefits of a perfect smile go beyond the cosmetic. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 ways straightening teeth and correcting alignment issues can improve your overall health.
1. Aid healthy digestion.
Teeth play an important role in digestion. Once you put food in your mouth, your teeth don’t just chop it into smaller pieces and send it on its way — no. Our teeth and tongue help mix the food with saliva, which starts the digestive process. Now, if you have misaligned teeth, there’s a big chance you’re either wolfing down your food or not chewing it properly, forcing your stomach to work harder and compensate for the delay in digestion. This will have a significant effect on our overall health.
2. Prevent periodontitis and associated illnesses.
When teeth aren’t straight, it becomes harder for your gums to “hug” your dentures, creating small spaces between them. Over time, food particles, as well as bacteria, accumulate in these areas, causing bacterial infections and other associated illnesses, such as plaque and cavities, that damage the gums and teeth. Straightening teeth through Invisalign will not only improve your smile but also make it easier to clean the gumline, preventing the development of periodontitis as well as other oral infections, which in turn will affect the overall health of your whole body.
3. Improve your mental and emotional outlook on life.
Getting braces or Invisalign may cause dramatic improvements in your mental and emotional outlook on life. Friends, colleagues, and even strangers will compliment you on your straight teeth. You’ll soon find yourself being less self-conscious about your smile and flashing that grin every chance you get. This kind of mood boost can have a positive life-changing impact on your overall attitude, which may carry over to other aspects of your life and overall health.
4. Reduce wear and tear.
Crooked teeth are more prone to chips, breaks, and cracks because of the increased stress as the upper and lower arches of teeth grind against each other. While these may not cause immediate problems, over time, the misalignment can lead to wear and tear of your tooth enamel. Braces and Invisalign can shift your teeth back in place to prevent any further damage to your teeth.
5. Brush and floss with ease.
Aside from straight teeth looking awesome in the mirror and in photos, they’re also easy to maintain. Some might even say they self-clean. If your teeth are crooked, you’ll notice there are nooks and crannies in your mouth that you can’t get to with brushing or flossing. Such places allow food particles to accumulate, and you know what that means: cavities, plaque, and other associated oral health issues. Fortunately, Invisalign can straighten your teeth to reveal hidden surface areas and make your oral hygiene routine more effective. Healthy mouth, better overall health
6. Relieve TMJ symptoms.
Crooked teeth can cause some people to suffer from TMJ symptoms, such as headaches. The misalignment puts excess stress on your jaws and gums. If the situation persists, the joints of your jawbone can become irritated and swollen. You may also begin to experience some facial pain, particularly when you chew, speak, or even open your mouth. By straightening your teeth, headaches and other TMJ symptoms will subside as your upper and lower jaw align to work at their optimum effectiveness.
7. Improve breathing.
Air enters our bodies either through the nose or the mouth. Having misaligned teeth can make it nearly impossible to close your mouth, leading to habitual mouth breathing. This wouldn’t be an issue were it not for the negative effects of dry mouth, brain fog, and snoring that come with it, and that’s only if you’re lucky. In teenagers, mouth breathing has also been known to cause changes in the development of the facial bone structure. All in all, that’s not a recipe for good overall health.
8. Relieve sleep apnea symptoms.
Do you snore, suffer from insomnia, or grind your teeth at night? Symptoms of sleep apnea are the result of the muscles at the back of the throat relaxing too much, causing the airway to narrow and breathing to become difficult. Fortunately, if the cause of apnea is orthodontics-related, braces or Invisalign can correct your bite and as your teeth align, you’ll find your symptoms dissipate. Without all the symptoms associated with sleep apnea your overall health will definitely improve as well.
9. Improve bite force.
Invisalign and braces don’t only straighten teeth, they also improve your bite’s overall function. When the teeth in your upper jaw can’t comfortably lay on the lower one, it can become difficult to chew or speak properly. Thankfully, braces provide a perfect solution to fix this problem in teens. Adults can also correct their bite through this method, but the treatment may take longer, simply because their jaws are no longer growing and easily pliable.
10. Reduce health risks.
Think of your mouth as the entryway to other parts of your body and your teeth as the soldiers guarding the gate. When the guards are not in tip-top shape, say because of gum disease or cavities, the body has to constantly fight the infection each time you drink or swallow food, which, in turn, compromises your overall health. Since straight teeth are easier to clean, simply observing good oral hygiene can prevent oral infections from starting up, reducing the likelihood of having a myriad of other health problems associated with oral health, such as diabetes and heart disease.
As you can see, there are several ways braces or Invisalign can improve your overall health. Schedule an appointment with us and start your journey toward a better, healthier smile.