Straight Teeth Are Healthy Teeth: Why Alignment Matters

Gum disease is rampant among American adults: About 85% of men and women over 35 have it. And a staggering 90% of those with diabetes or other systemic ailments like kidney or heart disease also have some form of gum disease.

Left unchecked, early gum disease, called gingivitis, leads to a more serious condition called periodontitis. And one of the complicating factors in this plight is misaligned teeth.

At Higgins Dental, our team specializes in helping you straighten your smile so you look your best and keep your teeth strong and healthy. We offer Invisalign® clear aligners to solve multiple alignment problems in the most efficient, discreet way possible. The bonus is that you not only get straighter teeth, you get healthier teeth. Here are a few of the health benefits of a properly aligned smile.

Reduced chance of getting cavities

It’s challenging enough to clean in between your teeth and clear out all of the bacteria and plaque that builds up throughout the day. Tight teeth make it difficult to pass floss in between, and crooked teeth can make it nearly impossible. If you can’t clean them, your teeth are bound to get cavities. The straighter your teeth are, the easier they are to keep clean and healthy. 

Warding off gum disease

Your teeth aren’t the only things in your mouth at risk for infection. Your gums also suffer when you have crooked teeth. Whether your teeth are spaced too far apart, crammed together and overcrowded, or simply misaligned, it puts your gums at a disadvantage. 

Ideally, your gums form a nice, snug wrap around the base of your teeth and block bacteria from sneaking in and around them. When you have alignment problems, you often have corresponding gum problems because they can’t maintain their protective snug fit. Consequently, bacteria get under your gums and cause infection and gingivitis. 

Fewer dental emergencies

Granted, if you get hit in the mouth by a baseball, it’s going to do some damage whether you have straight or crooked teeth. But generally speaking, misaligned teeth are less able to handle the impact of a blow to the face or mouth than straight teeth are. For instance, underbites, overbites, and individual teeth that stick out from the rest are more susceptible to injury because they’re less stable. 

And blows aren’t the only source to worry about. Although we constantly encourage our patients to avoid using their teeth as tools, it’s a common occurrence. When you use your teeth to open a bag of chips, bite your nails, or pop the top off a bottle, you can easily break, chip, or crack your teeth. If they’re out of alignment, the chance of damage is even greater.

Less jaw pain

Your teeth were designed to fit together in a specific way that facilitates proper chewing. If you have crooked teeth, it affects the way you bite and chew. Misaligned teeth add extra pressure on your jaw. Those muscles and joints become achy and sore, and you may notice headaches and pain in your jaw, cheeks, and neck.

Invisalign is a great way to bring your mouth back into balance so your teeth all fit together as they were meant to. 

Better physical and mental health

It stands to reason that if your teeth and gums are full of bacteria, those germs are eventually going to end up in your stomach and the rest of your body. Every time you swallow, you send harmful bacteria into your system. The straighter your teeth, the cleaner your mouth, and the cleaner your mouth, the better your chances of warding off illnesses. 

Crooked teeth can even cause mental and emotional distress. Some people who are dissatisfied with the way they look may become withdrawn and even depressed. If you’re worried about how you eat and speak because of your crooked teeth, it can impact your social life. And don’t forget the issue of bad breath that comes with trapped bacteria. 

Clearly, straight teeth can boost your confidence and help prevent mental and emotional disorders related to self-esteem. While Invisalign is obviously not a cure for any type of mental illness, it can be a significant tool in an overall health plan toward mental wellness.

If you’re intrigued by the many health benefits of straighter teeth and want to see if Invisalign is right for you, call our Jacksonville, Florida, office for an appointment, or book one online.

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