• Benefits of Straight Teeth: Healthy Teeth and Gums

    Benefits of Straight Teeth:

     

    Most people know that braces and orthodontic treatment can help give patients a beautiful smile, but did you know that straight teeth are healthy teeth? Likewise, teeth that are properly aligned and spaced are much more likely to be found in the same mouth as healthy gums. In other words, having crooked teeth can lead to gum disease. If you are considering braces for yourself or your child, it may surprise you that there are a number of health benefits that go along with expertly performed orthodontia. Also, metal brackets may not be necessary. Clear aligners are a great alternative and available at our practice.

     

    Straight teeth are easier to clean

    We know that tooth decay can be prevented by keeping cavity-causing bacteria from coming in contact with teeth. Excellent oral care including tooth brushing with a fluoride toothpaste after each meal, flossing at least once a day, routine dental visits for examinations and professional cleanings can dramatically reduce the risk of tooth decay. The problem with crooked teeth is that they are very difficult to clean properly. When teeth are overlapping one another, the bristles of a toothbrush cannot get to spaces around and between teeth. Flossing is a true challenge because the dental floss will either not get between teeth or will get stuck between teeth.

     

    Braces help prevent gum disease

    There are a number of ways to get gum diseases such as gingivitis or the more severe periodontitis; however, most of them involve bacterial colonization and invasion of the gums. When the teeth are crooked or crowded, it is nearly impossible to clean effectively between the tooth and the gum. Flossing does not reach or, if it does, it must be inserted forcibly. This act can cut and damage the sensitive gums. Any place that pathogenic bacteria can hide from cleaning efforts is a place for them to multiply and damage the gums. In gingivitis/periodontitis, the gums recede which causes more places for bacteria to flourish and wreak havoc. When teeth are straightened and evenly spaced through orthodontics treatment, the risk of gum disease decreases by reducing these hiding spots. This makes for healthy teeth.

     

    Misaligned teeth cause damage to enamel

    Enamel is the white coating that normally covers the visible part of each tooth. While it is hard and reasonably durable, it is not indestructible. Acids can erode enamel fairly easily. Brushing too hard can also erode enamel over time. The enamel is naturally thicker in areas that contact other teeth when. For properly aligned teeth, the chewing surface of each tooth contacts the one across from it (top to bottom) in several places. Therefore when chewing pressure is applied to these surfaces, it is applied evenly across the tooth. If someone has a malocclusion in which the jaws do not close properly, the teeth will press on each other awkwardly and with tremendous force. This unequal distribution of force will wear away enamel and lead to dental caries (cavities).

     

    More serious problems of crooked teeth

    Diseased teeth or gums eventually progresses to tooth loss—a state no one wants. Ask anyone with dentures and they will tell you they wish they had their healthy, young teeth back. It is not too much to say that braces can save teeth since straight teeth are associated with fewer cavities and less gum disease.

    Moreover, severe gum disease can lead to systemic problems that is, a state in which the whole body is affected. Gum disease not only leads to tooth loss but it can increase the risk of heart disease and blood infections. Since gum disease is an inflammatory process, there may be a link to other inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and diabetes mellitus.

    Braces and orthodontic treatment that lead to straighter teeth are not only important for the beauty of your mouth, but for your oral health and the health of your body. Living with crooked, crowded teeth may lead to various dental and medical illnesses. If you have any questions or are interested in orthodontics please contact us.

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