You know there are a lot of good reasons to get your smile straightened out with some form of orthodontics. These days a lot of people like clear aligners, but metal braces, wire braces are still an option. Sometimes there’s a ceramic type of brace that’s used that the brackets actually have ceramic in them, so they are not as visible as the regular braces.
So, nevertheless, there are multiple ways that you can get a straighter smile, and the obvious reason is it just looks great, you know. It’s just a nice clean appearance. It’s very pleasant to the eye. And the eye understands symmetry in nature, in terms of beauty. And so, that’s why straight smiles tend to appeal to the human eye. But you know there are actually six reasons beyond that, why getting your teeth straightened out can be really valuable. Let’s just take a quick look at those.
Improved Oral Health
First of all, straighter teeth lead to improved oral health. That’s because the teeth are easier to clean. There’s less of those overlaps and nooks and crannies where the bacteria and food can get lodged and the tissue can become inflamed. So, when teeth are in a nice row like a picket fence, then it’s easy to clean in between. (Read some tips on preventing cavities).
The second reason is that it improves digestion. Yes, you know, that’s the first step in digestion when we start chewing on our food. We want to break it down and there are a couple of things that happen. There’s a mechanical breakdown of the food, of course, from the teeth, and that’s why your teeth, a bite that’s aligned properly can really help with that step. But second, saliva mixes in some of the enzymes that are needed to start breaking down food before it goes down to your stomach. And so, that’s another reason why having teeth that fit and function together well can really help aid in the first step of digestion.
Lower Risk of Jaw Pain and Headaches
Number three, there’s a reduced risk of jaw pain and headaches. It’s a very balanced system, and there’s muscles on both sides of our face as well as the jaw joints right in front of our ears. And when the teeth don’t fit together right and things are out of alignment, it can cause some sliding. You may not even be able to detect that in your bite, but when you close together, if it’s not balanced and there’s not balanced forces going up on the right side and the left side into the jaw muscles and the jaw joint, it can cause headaches and it can cause jaw aches.
It’s actually one of the more common undiagnosed causes of headaches, when people are having a hard time figuring out what’s going on. It could be headaches related to your bite or jaw issues. It could also be related to clenching and grinding, and so, it’s definitely one of those benefits that can come along with an aligned bite.
And then another benefit of straighter teeth is improved speech. It is just not always for everyone, but certainly if the front teeth are out of alignment and the tongue doesn’t fit and function properly up against the back of the front teeth especially, it can alter your words a little bit. This could be subtle or it could be more significant, but there are people that find once their teeth are straighter, that they actually are able to speak better and have more confidence.
Benefit number five is improved self-esteem. So that can come obviously from just having a smile that you love and you feel good about, but it could also come from having better oral health, from better speech. These are all contributors to self-esteem, and so another reason why you may want to explore orthodontics.
Reduced Risk of Injuries
The last reason today is to reduce the risk of injuries. So, obviously if teeth are misaligned, let’s say you have some front teeth that are sticking out or corners sticking out, that is more prone to fracture if you get into any type of a traumatic incident. So, if somebody’s elbow comes up or a child’s head hits those teeth, the first point of contact could be that protruding area, the tooth that sticks out, and it’s just more likely to lead to an injury.
So those are, you know, just six reasons why you may want to consider orthodontics, if it’s something you’ve thought about. Again, there are many options today that you can explore.
At Express Dentists, we have a trusted network of dentists and orthodontic specialists that are available to you in your area, and we can help you connect. Sometimes it’s best to go in and see the dentist first, make sure everything’s healthy, talk to them initially for a screening to see what’s possible for your smile if you’re thinking that you would benefit from some orthodontics (here are some tips on choosing a dentist). Take care of your smile and it will help take care of you!
About the author
Dr. Greg Grillo
Dr. Greg Grillo DDS studied at the University of Washington where he received a bachelors degree with Honors and later attended dental school on the same campus. Following school Dr. Greg served in the United States Navy as a dental officer. During this time he received advanced training in specialty areas of dentistry while also treating families of members of the military.
As well as sharing valuable information on dentistry and oral health, Dr. Greg remains a practicing dentist to this day. He works with families in the Okanogan Valley where he lives with his wife and three children.