For many people, the driving force behind seeking treatment with orthodontic braces here at our Stourbridge dental practice is cosmetic. Understandably, patients want their smile to look good.
But did you know that having straighter teeth isn’t just about appearance? It can be good for your health too.
If you have crooked teeth, you may find that you have adjusted your bite over the years – often subconsciously – to compensate for the misalignment. Unfortunately, this can mean that pressure is applied where it shouldn’t be when you bite or chew. This can begin to wear down your teeth or cause problems such as jaw pains, neck ache, shoulder ache or headaches. Wearing orthodontic braces or aligners can move your teeth into better alignment and have a knock-on effect on the aches and pains that have been troubling you for years.
We also find that straighter teeth are better for your gums. When you teeth are crooked, poorly spaced or overlapping, you may find that there are small nooks and crannies that are difficult to clean effectively at home. This can lead to a build-up of plaque and tartar, which, in turn, can cause gum disease.
Figures from Periodontics UK highlight that approximately 80% of us will suffer from gum disease of some degree during our lives; of these people, 15-20% will lose a significant number of teeth if they don’t receive appropriate treatment.
Having straighter teeth enables you to brush and floss more efficiently and effectively. By stopping gum disease in its tracks, you can help to protect yourself from tooth loss, jaw bone loss, bleeding gums, and bad breath. A growing body of research also indicates that gum disease can contribute to heart problems, Type 2 diabetes, strokes, premature labour, low birth weight, and even some forms of cancer.
Let’s not forget too that people who have straighter teeth as a result of orthodontic treatment tend to experience a boost to their confidence, making them more inclined to smile. Smiling can have massive psychological and physical benefits. It has been shown to lift a person’s mood, boost the immune system, use more facial muscles, and release endorphins which combat stress.
There’s no doubting it – a straighter smile doesn’t just look good, it helps you feel good too.