People often assume that crooked or misaligned teeth are a purely cosmetic issue, but that really is not the case. The fact of the matter is that it is a condition known as malocclusion, and it can actually impact your oral health in many ways.
Suffice to say there are a lot more benefits to getting braces or clear aligners to straighten your teeth than you may realize, and some of the most important are:
- Makes teeth easier to brush and floss
Crooked teeth are not easy to brush and floss, and more often than not there will be some areas that aren’t covered. As a result plaque will eventually build up and you’ll run the risk of cavities, gum disease, and a host of other issues.
By straightening your teeth, you’ll make them much easier to clean. That is especially true if they are no longer overcrowded, and floss can fit into the gaps more easily.
- Allows food to be chewed more thoroughly
If your teeth are misaligned it will affect your actions when you chew food, and make it more difficult to chew it into small pieces. In fact you may end up with more food particles stuck between your teeth as a result too.
Once your teeth are straight you shouldn’t have that issue. It may help to improve your digestion too, seeing as chewing food into smaller pieces will let you digest it more quickly and easily.
- Avoids wear and tear on teeth
Teeth that are properly aligned don’t suffer as much wear and tear when biting and chewing. If you suffer from malocclusion the distribution of stress when you bite and chew won’t be as even, and some parts of your teeth will gradually start to wear down.
Over time this can cause your teeth to chip, crack, or compromise the biting surface and make it flat. However if you fix your smile you should be able to avoid most wear and tear.
- Reduces risk of jaw issues
In addition to straining your teeth, a bad bite can actually put more pressure on your entire jaw too – which can cause other issues. Although less common, in the long term the strain can affect the joints of your jaw and lead to jaw pain, ear aches, headaches, and so on.
Fixing the bite is the first step towards solving that problem. On top of that it will reduce the risk of your jawbone eroding due to bacteria eating into the bone.
- Helps improve speech
Many speech impediments actually stem from malocclusion, especially if you have a lisp or you inadvertently make whistling sounds when trying to say certain words. However it should be noted that not all speech disorders are caused by malocclusion, so it is no guarantee that straightening your teeth will fix it.
Suffice to say if you have a speech impediment and suffer from malocclusion, you should visit an orthodontist and ask them if it is related.
Starting to see the benefits of straightening your teeth? At times rectifying your malocclusion could really end up being life changing – which is why you should definitely consider it carefully.
On your part you may want to go over the different types of treatment that are available, and ask your orthodontist for advice. If you’d prefer a treatment that isn’t that visible you could ask them about Invisalign Birmingham, or other subtle types of braces.
At the end of the day the best option to straighten your teeth will vary depending on many factors. That is why it is crucial that you talk to your orthodontist beforehand and know what your options are.