Why Straight Teeth Matter: Explained By Your Cosmetic and General Dentist in Portland, Oregon
Updated: Mar 2
Beyond their picture-perfect appearance, an even smile is way more important for mouth health than you might think! Straight teeth provide the ideal conditions for oral health in so many different ways, and can have positive social and psychological impacts, too. Let’s take a deep dive into the many ways straight teeth benefit our health.
Decreases the Risk of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Straight teeth are easier to clean than crooked teeth, and an improperly cleaned mouth leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Straight teeth are easier to clean because your toothbrush and floss can reach their surfaces and the areas around and in between with ease. Crooked teeth are harder to clean around because they have more places for bacteria and plaque to hide.
Eliminate Uneven Wear
When teeth aren’t aligned properly, the top and bottom teeth often don’t come together correctly when we bite down. A bad bite (called malocclusion) may lead to uneven wear on tooth enamel and even small chips and fractures in teeth. Properly aligned teeth eliminate these problems.
Can Improve Teeth Grinding and TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder)
A better bite can also help with issues like teeth grinding (called bruxism), and chronic jaw pain. An uneven bite can cause stress to the jaw joint (the temporomandibular joint), which in turn causes TMJ pain and chronic issues like jaw clicking, headaches, migraines and more.
Keeps the Jaw Healthy and Functioning Correctly
A misaligned bite can cause undue stress on the gums and teeth, which can result in a breakdown of the bones that support the teeth, or the jaw bone. Fixing a bite and straightening teeth helps prevent this, and may also help improve sleep apnea when it’s caused by incorrect jaw position.
Improves Ability to Eat and Speak Properly
An ideal bite lets you chew and speak properly! Chewing efficiently helps us consume and absorb crucial nutrients. Some people suffer from an open bite, in which their upper and front teeth cannot touch, making it impossible for them to bite through a sandwich or a slice of pizza! Additionally, teeth that are in the wrong position often leads to lisps, inadvertent whistling while speaking, or other speech impediments.
Social and Psychological Benefits
In an ideal world, appearance wouldn’t make a single bit of difference in how we are perceived. However, first impressions are often made on things like what we wear and our smile. From snap judgments about intelligence, health and wealth, our society places a lot of importance on smiles, and having an ideal smile can give you the edge in a variety of social and even professional situations. Having confidence in your smile can have a big role in your self esteem and quality of life!
Everybody wants a great smile, but a lot of us need help getting there - and crooked teeth are one of the only dental flaws that people cannot work on on their own. There are over the counter whitening systems for brighter teeth, toothbrush and floss for clean and healthy teeth and gums, but crooked teeth can’t be straightened without help. Contact us today if you’d like to explore ways to straighten your teeth and improve your smile and oral health!
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