Straight teeth are an essential part of a truly beautiful, healthy-looking smile, but of course, few of us come by them naturally. For most of us, getting those straight, perfectly-aligned teeth means having orthodontic treatment, often opting for a virtually invisible system such as Invisalign. Invisalign treatment takes less time than treatment with traditional metal or ceramic braces, and because the aligners are pretty much invisible while you’re wearing them, there’s no reason to feel self-conscious during your treatment.
Of course, while having a beautiful smile is certainly a major benefit of having your teeth straightened, it’s not the only benefit. In fact, having straight, aligned teeth offers plenty of benefits for your oral health and even your overall health. And there’s even a bonus for your bank account!
You won’t have as many cavities
One of the biggest problems of having crooked teeth is that all those nooks and crannies provide some ideal hiding spots for food debris and cavity-causing bacteria. When your teeth are straight, it’s a lot easier to keep them clean with brushing and flossing because all the edges are lined up. But when your teeth are crooked, it creates spaces that aren’t easy to reach with a brush or with floss. Food debris can lodge in those crevices, feeding bacteria and forming sticky plaque and hard tartar deposits. As bacteria grow on your tooth surfaces, the acids they release can eat away at your tooth enamel, and eventually, those bacteria will move right into your teeth, causing painful cavities and infections that can extend all the way into the central pulp portion of your tooth. The result: lots of fillings and probably at least a few root canals and crowns.
Your risk of gum disease and tooth loss will be lower
Those nooks and crannies don’t just increase the risk of developing cavities. They can also harbor the bacteria that cause gum disease. These tiny organisms love hiding behind tartar deposits. And when you can’t remove sticky plaque along your gums and between your teeth, tartar builds up pretty quickly. Then, the disease-causing bacteria get to work, creating pockets along the gum line that allow even more bacteria to reach the lower parts of your teeth. Eventually, the germs can migrate all the way to your roots, causing infections that can weaken your teeth and even lead to tooth loss.
Your risks of systemic diseases could be reduced
Studies show the bacteria that cause gum disease can also increase your risk for other diseases, too, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, respiratory infections, osteoporosis and some types of cancer. Taking steps to prevent gum disease, such as straightening your teeth, so it’s easier to eliminate disease-causing bacteria, could reduce your risks for these issues, as well.
You can avoid TMJ and the chronic headaches it causes
TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint disorder, a chronic condition that develops when your jaw joints become inflamed. TMJ typically occurs when your bite is out of balance. Your teeth are designed to work in pairs, upper and lower. When your teeth aren’t properly aligned, your bite balance is thrown off, and that can cause a lot of excess strain on your jaw joints. People with TMJ tend to experience a lot of jaw pain as well as chronic headaches. Plus, the uneven wear from an unbalanced bite can damage your teeth, exposing them to higher risks of decay and fracture. Aligning your teeth reestablishes a normal bite balance to relieve jaw inflammation, along with the other problems TMJ can cause.
You can lower your future dental bills — considerably
It might seem like having your teeth straightened is a big financial investment, but actually, the costs of Invisalign and other orthodontic treatments have dropped a lot in recent years. But even more importantly, by having your teeth aligned now, you can avoid much bigger dental bills in the future, including bills associated with cavities, gum disease, TMJ and even tooth loss. In that respect, the cost of aligning your teeth now is a wise financial move that can save you a lot of money in the future.
At District Cosmetic Dental, we offer state-of-the-art Invisalign treatment to help our patients enjoy straighter teeth in less time than traditional braces. And the clear aligners make treatment a lot more pleasant, too. To learn more about Invisalign and to find out how better alignment can improve your oral health, book an appointment online today.