A straight set of teeth sure makes for a bright, beautiful smile — there's no doubt about it, neat pearly whites that twinkle every time you smile are bound to light up every room you're in.
The obvious benefit of fixing crooked or misaligned teeth is a boost in self-confidence. You may feel self-conscious about smiling or laughing in front of others. You may avoid social situations because you're afraid that people will be looking at your teeth instead of listening to what you have to say. When your teeth are straighter, you can't help but smile with a truly wonderful boost. In confidence!
But we're not here to talk about the superficial benefits of teeth straightening. There are significant other advantages that come with having properly aligned, straighter teeth. So if you're considering straightening your teeth, or you're in the process of doing so, here are four health benefits to keep in mind.
1. Straighter teeth can help improve your overall oral hygiene
Let's start with a big one, and that's your overall oral health. The placement of your teeth plays a big role in the overall health of your mouth. When your teeth are crowded or crooked, it's difficult to keep them clean because toothbrush bristles (and sometimes even dental floss) can't reach all the nooks and crannies where plaque likes to hide.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria1 that forms on teeth, and if it's not removed, it can turn into tartar2 (a harder substance), which can lead to gum disease. About 47%3 of adults aged 30 and over have some form of gum disease, so it's definitely something to be aware of.
On the other hand, when your teeth are properly aligned, it's easier for you to brush and floss them effectively, which helps reduce your risk of plaque buildup4 and gingivitis5 (an early stage of gum disease).
Looking at the big picture, straighter teeth mean better oral health, which means fewer expensive procedures at the dentist, so even your wallet will thank you for it!
2. Straighter teeth make eating easier and more enjoyable
You probably don't give it much thought, but the way your teeth come together when you chew plays an important role in how well you're able to eat your food. When your teeth are misaligned, you may find that certain foods are more difficult to bite, chew, and digest properly.
This can lead to digestive issues like indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux6, which is no fun for anybody. And think about it — if you’re avoiding certain foods because they hurt your teeth, you're going to be missing out on a lot of nutrients that your body needs. On the other hand, when your teeth are straighter, you can eat the foods you want, and enjoy it!
3. Aligning your teeth can help improve your speech
You may not realise it, but the way your teeth are aligned can have an impact on your speech7. When your teeth are misaligned, it can cause you to produce certain sounds differently than someone with straight teeth would. For instance, if your teeth are overcrowded, you may have difficulty pronouncing words that have S's or Z's in them because your tongue can't move as freely in your mouth.
That can make communicating with people super-frustrating — what you're thinking is perfectly clear in your head, but when it comes out of your mouth, it can sound a bit too muddled or mispronounced for others to understand.
But when your teeth are straight, you can speak clearly and without any difficulties, which will make communication a lot easier (and clearer) for both you and the people you're talking to!
4. Teeth straightening can help relieve pain in your jaw, head, and neck
Crowded teeth can cause you to suffer from TMJ8 (temporomandibular joint disorder), which can make things extremely uncomfortable whenever you move your jaw. So if you have any kind of pain in your jaw, head, or neck, aligning your teeth can help alleviate some of that discomfort9. This is because when your teeth are properly aligned, the way your jaw opens and closes is better aligned and more efficient, so there's less strain on your muscles.
There you have it — four good reasons of teeth straightening that go beyond a beautiful smile! As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to consider straightening your teeth, even if aesthetics isn't your top priority. So if you've been thinking about getting your teeth aligned but weren't sure if it was worth it, hopefully this article has helped convince you otherwise!
If you’d like to find an Invisalign doctor near you, please check out our Find a Doctor page to take the next steps towards a straighter smile, and all the benefits that go along with it.
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