Dr. Paxon at Beam Orthodontics understands the power of an aligned bite and what it can mean for your quality of life. Contrary to the popular belief that metal, clear, and removable braces are only for cosmetic purposes, they can also help improve your mental, physical, and oral health! Don’t believe us? Below are 5 health benefits of straight teeth.
Improved Oral Health
Simply rearranging the layout of your teeth can have incredibly positive impacts on your oral health!
Crooked or misaligned teeth can make hard-to-reach nooks and crannies that allow bacteria, plaque, and food to escape your sight and oral hygiene tools. When able to build up, they can cause bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, infections, and other oral health issues. Eventually, they may lead to lasting damage to your teeth and gums.
Teeth that don’t line up correctly can also rub against each other and quickly wear down the protective outer layer of the teeth! Without the protective enamel, teeth become more vulnerable to threats like plaque and temperature sensitivities. Worse, if the dentin under your enamel becomes exposed, you might suddenly be an ideal candidate for a root canal!
When your teeth are straighter, cleaning your teeth and gums is much easier, and your enamel has a reduced risk of premature fading! That means you’ll have better oral health and spend less time and money at the dentist.
Better Digestive Health
As the first step in the digestive system, your teeth are crucial to the digestive process. It might help to think of a kitchen sink to visualize the importance of chewing. Have you ever tried to get rid of food in the sink, but it didn’t fit down the drain? You probably had to turn on the faucet and garbage disposal to get the food wet and break it into smaller pieces to go down the pipe. That’s what chewing does! It breaks down the food and gets it soft and squishy so it can quickly and safely travel through your throat.
As the first step in the digestive system, your teeth are crucial to the digestive process. When teeth are not aligned correctly, it can lead to inadequate chewing. Thoroughly chewing food breaks it down and stimulates saliva production to help lubricate the throat and clump food together. Adequately broken down food and saliva help prevent choking!
In addition to safer swallowing, the stomach also benefits from sufficient chewing. Smaller pieces of food are essential to maximize nutrient intake and are less likely to get stuck in the digestive tract. Attempting to ingest larger food can increase your risk of low nutrition and food getting lodged in the digestive system, leading to a build-up of bacteria, encouraging indigestion, bloating, constipation, gas, bad breath, and heartburn.
You might find eating uncomfortable and discouraging because of the difficulties crooked teeth can cause during meal times. If you associate eating with negative emotions, you are more at risk of developing unhealthy dietary habits and, in severe cases, malnutrition. Orthodontic care can make eating much more enjoyable and useful!
Alleviates Discomfort From The Jaw
When your teeth are crooked or your bite is off, it can cause many problems for your body beyond digestive issues and cavities.
These other concerns stem from your jaw. If your bite isn’t ideal, your jaw has uneven pressure on its joints. This strain can lead to TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), which causes pain and popping sounds in your jaw when you open your mouth, neck tension, earaches, and headaches. Once it develops, TMD is a lifetime condition for most people. Managing the symptoms is possible, but it’s better to prevent it entirely.
Orthodontics can help improve your jaw’s functionality by aligning your jaw using orthodontic bands that attach the top and bottom brackets of your braces.
When your jaws are misaligned or otherwise improperly developed, it can impact the shape of your airway and make it harder to breathe.
During the day, malocclusion can force you to breathe through your mouth, causing dry mouth, tooth decay, bad breath, and more. It can also lead to shortness of breath, the uncomfortable feeling of not having enough air in your lungs.
If you struggle with breathing at night, you might suffer from sleep apnea, which is when you have a “pause” in your breathing while you try to rest. Sleep apnea and other breathing-related sleep disorders can leave you tired and irritable the next day, affecting your quality of life and work performance. If left untreated, these disorders can produce serious health problems. You could also be breathing through your mouth at night and not even realize it!
Braces can adjust the position of your jaw to open up your airway, protecting your oral health and sleep. You’ll be more comfortable 24/7 when you can breathe properly!
The Mental Health Benefits Of A New Smile
When you don’t like what you see in the mirror, it can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, it can also lead to negative judgment from others. People with straight teeth deliver a better first impression, allowing them to have an easier time making friends, getting dates, and receiving job offers after face-to-face interviews. This difference in how others treat them is because a conventionally attractive smile is associated with confidence, success, good health, cleanliness, and happiness. All traits that make people think more favorably of you!
If your smile affects your confidence, you might even contribute to a negative perception without realizing it!
Though our team at Beam Orthodontics believes that your smile shouldn’t cause you to be insecure, we can understand how it can affect your self-image. We are proud to report that orthodontic care will improve your smile’s cosmetic appearance and could benefit your mental health by enhancing your social and professional life and boosting your self-esteem!
Beam Orthodontics Can Help You Get The Straight Smile You’ve Dreamed Of!
We encourage you to consider the broader implications of orthodontic care. Beam Orthodontics’ approach goes beyond cosmetic improvements; we focus on the profound health benefits that come with straight teeth. Schedule your FREE in-person or virtual consultation with Dr. Paxon in Penticton or West Kelowna to learn if our metal, clear, or removable braces can help address your concerns!