Posted on March 8, 2022
What Are the Benefits of a Better Aligned Smile?
Aligning your teeth can do more for you than just giving you a better smile. It can help your overall health, save you money on future dental bills, and boost your self-confidence!
With diligent care, a better-aligned smile is something you can benefit from for the rest of your life. Our orthodontist, Dr. Struhs, is here to tell you about the benefits of a straight smile.
7 Benefits of a Straight Smile
Having a straight smile is important for many reasons besides aesthetics. Orthodontics can correct your bite pattern, allowing you to experience all of the benefits below and more!
- Healthier Teeth and Gums
Misaligned teeth tend to push against one another, making cleaning between them a hassle. If you don’t floss down to your gum line, you will leave harmful bacteria. This will lead to tooth decay and eventually periodontitis (gum disease).
Additionally, food can get stuck easier if your teeth are too far apart. If you don’t keep floss on hand, the bacteria can eventually begin to eat away at your teeth and gums.
- Even Wear
Over time, our teeth naturally wear down a little. However, when teeth don’t line up as they should, they wear quicker and unevenly. Not only can this create a less confident smile, but can also lead to sensitivity, damage to your teeth, and costly repairs.
- Correct Speech Patterns
The way we pronounce words comes from the position of our lips, jaw, and tongue. If you have malocclusion from a misaligned jaw or crooked teeth, you may not be able to get your lips, jaw, or tongue in the correct positions to properly pronounce words.
If this is the case, you or your child might benefit from having a better smile.
Speech is muscle memory, so fixing issues early can prevent certain mouth positions from becoming permanent habits.
- Less Risk of Damaging Your Teeth
The grooves on your teeth should fit together like a puzzle. If they don’t, it puts additional stress and pressure on certain parts of your teeth. This can quickly lead to unnatural wear on them, and they can crack, chip, or even break off under the stress of chewing. It also helps keep your jaw in a stable, proper and predictable relationship while chewing.
- Better Digestion
Certain types of malocclusion make properly chewing food nearly impossible. For example, an open bite only allows some of your back molars to touch while the rest of your teeth never come together.
As mentioned above, your teeth are meant to come together in a certain way, like a puzzle. When they don’t, your teeth can’t break down food as well as if you had a healthy bite pattern.
This adds work to your stomach and it won’t always be able to compensate. It will pass food before it breaks down, preventing valuable nutrients from being absorbed.
- Better First Impression
Teeth are one of the first things people look at when they meet you. This goes for first dates, the first day of school, and job interviews. As much as we want to think people don’t judge others by what’s on the outside, this isn’t the case.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it great.
- Improved Confidence
If you have a misaligned bite, you have probably made a conscious effort to hide your smile at one point or another. Wouldn’t it be nice to smile freely and not feel embarrassed? Braces can help by giving you a better-aligned smile that you will want to show off.
What Makes Your Teeth Crooked?
Having naturally straight teeth isn’t very common. You can have a misaligned bite and crooked teeth for a variety of reasons.
Genetics has the biggest influence on how our teeth and jaw will develop and shift over time. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this without orthodontic intervention.
Childhood habits, such as prolonged pacifier use and thumb sucking, are often culprits of malocclusion. Because children’s bones are so malleable, these habits can cause abnormal development of their teeth and bone structure.
Facial injuries, specifically at a young age, can affect how your teeth and jaw develop. This is especially common when a child knocks out baby teeth before they are ready or breaks their jaw.
Gum disease, or periodontitis, causes tooth decay and will lead to bone loss if not treated. When the bones that support your teeth begin to break down, your teeth will shift.