10 Key Benefits of Having Straight Teeth That Go Beyond Aesthetics
Can an orthodontic dentist affect your overall well-being?
Have you ever heard of the word eudaimonia? This is a Greek word philosophers often take to mean “the condition of human flourishing.” Prioritizing eudaimonia in our lives may mean we work out to be strong and hearty instead of comparing our bodies to others’. Prioritizing your own flourishing leads to real happiness.
Similarly, there are many important health benefits to having straight teeth that go beyond movie-star aesthetics. In this case, health is really wealth; you use your teeth every day, so you definitely want them to be in the best condition. Living with misaligned teeth can lead to serious long-term health problems like TMJ, so the earlier you fix them, the better.
As your orthodontic dentist in Omaha, NE, we want you to flourish. Keep reading to find out why dentists believe there are numerous (often surprising) benefits to having straight teeth!
1. Healthy Teeth
Dentists and orthodontists call misaligned teeth “malocclusions.”
Generally, straight teeth mean a healthier set of teeth. Misaligned teeth tend to get more food stuck between them, resulting in higher chances for developing cavities and tooth decay.
Teeth that are misaligned are also at a greater risk of becoming wobbly and unstable. This makes them more prone to tooth decay as they are exposed to more bacteria. Their incorrect position also means they are at a higher risk of incurring damage if you were to get into an accident.
2. Healthy Gums
Your gum health is just as important. If your teeth are too crowded or if they are spaced too far apart, plaque and other germs will invade the surface of the tooth and the gumline.
Gums often do not form correctly around malocclusions. This often leads to periodontal disease or an infection of the gums. At the earliest stages of this, you will have gingivitis, which is reversible but if left unchecked will become periodontitis. Periodontitis is not reversible and will often lead to lost teeth because of bone and tissue loss in the area.
The alignment of your teeth is a serious tenet of general dental health. Even if you’re an adult, it’s not too late to see an orthodontist. The cost of braces will likely offset any treatment costs you may incur down the line due to advancing disease.
3. Improved Sleep Quality
This one is a surprising benefit. There is actually a link between sleep apnea and crowded teeth. Having crowded teeth may also indicate that you have a small jaw, which can restrict your airway when you breathe at night.
This can be alleviated or even cured with an orthodontic procedure with your orthodontic dentist, but until it is, you will likely experience reduced sleep quality because of disturbed breathing patterns.
4. Improved Self-Esteem
We mentioned that having straight teeth is not just about aesthetics. However, we cannot discount the positive benefits straight teeth have on a patient’s self-esteem.
The short of it is that our society values the appearance of straight teeth. Having that aesthetic benefit is often better for the mental health of our patients, which we greatly value.
5. Easier Cleaning
Misaligned teeth are often harder to clean. The nooks and crannies between them are typically harder to reach with toothbrushes and floss, and sometimes they are even impossible or downright aggravating to clean.
Straighter teeth equals easier cleaning, and easier cleaning means less aggregated bacteria in harder-to-clean areas. This will help you prevent the onset of cavities in those areas, saving yourself pain and money.
6. Decreased Risk of Injury
Protruding or crowded teeth are more prone to damage. If you fall and cause trauma to the mouth, you’ll find that these teeth bear the brunt of it and end up with more chips and wear.
Their alignment may also cause you to accidentally bite your cheeks and tongue more frequently; this is not only painful but also a possible precursor to infection.
7. Decreased Headaches and Neck Pain
Crowded teeth may cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Anyone who has lived with this disorder knows how stressful it is; the tension in your jaw can spread to your head and down your neck and shoulders. You may also find yourself having frequent headaches, neck and back pain, or even pain and discomfort when chewing.
Having the best orthodontic care from your local orthodontist or orthodontic dentist can often alleviate the most uncomfortable symptoms of TMD or even fix the disorder entirely.
8. Stronger Bones
Did you know you can actually experience jawbone loss if your teeth are spaced too far apart? The bones supporting the gap will begin to deteriorate because they are not being used. Combined with age-related diseases like osteoporosis, you may see bone wear much faster than you are prepared for.
Having straight teeth means maintaining stronger bones because your teeth are what help preserve the bones that support them.
The benefit of not feeling anything out of the ordinary in your mouth is often underrated. Because there are so many nerves in your mouth and around your teeth, dental pain is often severe and debilitating.
Having balanced teeth and a good bite means your teeth can rest comfortably against each other without placing any undue stress on your jaw, head, neck, or shoulders.
10. Clearer Speech
When you speak, your tongue needs a certain amount of space in your mouth to express sound. The tongue’s ability to touch certain teeth helps you enunciate some words more clearly.
Needless to say, having misaligned teeth can lead to speech issues like lisps. If you’re looking to improve your clarity of speech, you may want to look into clear braces or metal braces, depending on which kind your orthodontic dentist says you are the best candidate for.
Flourish with an orthodontic dentist in Omaha, NE
Having straight teeth is a great boost to anyone’s quality of life. They help reduce the costs of dental care in the future because they are set up to be as healthy as possible. Straight teeth can also provide greater self-esteem and comfort. It shouldn’t be hard to find a good orthodontic dentist in Omaha, NE. The Tooth Doc team is here to support you if you are looking for a procedure that is both life-changing and life-empowering. Feel free to reach out when you’d like to schedule an appointment.