Having straight teeth used to be a matter of luck and genetics. If your teeth grew in straight and you avoided losing one or more throughout your adult life, you were among the fortunate few. These days, most people with dental insurance or enough money to pay for treatment have a choice about whether to go through life with crooked teeth. As you weigh the pros and cons to decide if the process is worth it, here are some benefits to keep in mind:
Having Straight Teeth Makes Cleaning Easier
When your teeth are straight, they are easier to clean. There are fewer hard-to-reach areas and your toothbrush bristles can contact all the surfaces that need to be brushed. Plus, flossing is more likely to dislodge food particles completely when your teeth are properly spaced. In contrast, crowded teeth provide an ideal hiding place for food debris which serves as a breeding ground for bacteria. As this biofilm accumulates, it hardens into plaque and eventually tarter that is very difficult to remove. This process doesn’t take long. Biofilm starts to “set” within 48 hours and can turn into tarter within just a couple of weeks. When you have crooked, crowded teeth, your dentist may have to work longer and harder to remove plaque — even if you brush regularly.
Oral and General Health Benefits of Straight Teeth
Because crooked and crowded teeth are difficult to clean, they are more prone to developing cavities. Constant contact with bacteria is also bad for your gums. Gingivitis (inflammation caused by bacteria trapped in pockets between the gums and the teeth) is a common problem for patients with crooked teeth. Gingivitis can develop into periodontitis which affects the gums, connective tissues and even the jaw bone surrounding and supporting your teeth. Advanced periodontitis can result in tooth loss. The chronic oral infection of periodontitis is also linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Straight Teeth Lessen Discomfort and Increase Function
Ideally, your top and bottom teeth should line up with each other to provide the most efficient biting and chewing function without causing excessive wear. When you get your teeth straightened to properly align your bite, you cut down on the amount of stress your teeth experience. This leads to a longer and healthier lifespan for your teeth. It can also help alleviate some forms of chronic jaw pain that are linked to having a misaligned bite.
Aesthetic and Social Benefits of Having Straight Teeth
The most important emotional/psychological reason to get your teeth straightened is to feel good about your smile. Both kids and adults generally feel better about their appearance after undergoing a successful tooth straightening treatment. People who are shy about smiling, laughing, or having their photo taken can be more relaxed knowing that their teeth look straight and even.
It may seem shallow to think that people might judge you based on the straightness of your teeth, but it’s a pretty common attitude. According to an Invisalign-sponsored survey of 1,000 Americans, almost 50 percent said they believe having crooked teeth makes a poor impression. If you ask most people whether they find straight teeth appealing, they will admit they do. Having crooked teeth isn’t likely to keep you from landing a job or finding love. However, you can benefit from a boost in self confidence once your teeth look their best.
Swollen, red gums can often be the result of having teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced. Unfortunately, these are also signs of periodontal disease. When teeth are properly aligned, it helps the gums fit more securely around the teeth, allowing for the strongest and healthiest defense against potential periodontal problems. That’s where Invisalign comes in. The comfortable and clear aligners gently and gradually begin to move your teeth into the proper position — without unsightly brackets and wires.
One of the biggest challenges of having braces is removing all the food that gets trapped in the brackets and wires. This can often lead to plaque buildup and eventually tooth decay. With Invisalign, the aligners are removable, so it’s easy to continue brushing and flossing your teeth the way you normally do.
Think of your teeth as a window to the health of your body. Your teeth and gums — and how they look to others when you smile—say a lot about your overall health. If you’re taking good care of both, you’re probably taking good care of the rest of you.
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria. Left untreated, they can cause mouth sores, tender or bleeding gums, bad breath, and possible tooth loss. Studies by the American Dental Association have shown that oral infections can also lead to other more serious ailments such as heart disease,2 stroke,3 pneumonia4 and diabetes5. Invisalign aligners make daily oral hygiene easier, thus reducing the risk of possible problems. And correctly aligned teeth can also alleviate the issues that can be caused by an improper bite, speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems, and increased wear on the tooth enamel. Invisalign effectively addresses all of these orthodontic issues, so you’ll have the confidence of a great smile and increase the likelihood of improved oral health.