At any given time, about four million people in the United States are wearing braces, a quarter of whom are adults. Many people assume that the only reason these people are straightening their teeth is to improve their smiles.
Yes, teeth that line up beautifully in neat rows can make a smile shine, but the benefits extend far beyond cosmetics. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that aligning teeth makes for a great preventive dental practice.
To give you an idea of the many reasons why straightening teeth can benefit your health, the group of dental experts here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists wants to take a closer look at five such benefits.
1. Preventing tooth decay and gum disease
The two leading causes of missing teeth and poor dental health are tooth decay and gum disease. When you have crooked teeth, it can be much harder to keep harmful bacteria from building up because you can’t easily access certain areas in your mouth.
For example, if you have teeth that are set behind others or that are crooked, brushing and flossing fully around each tooth proves to be far more difficult.
2. Promoting TMJ health
On either side of your lower jaw, just under each ear, are small hinge joints called temporomandibular joints (TMJs). If your teeth aren’t well-aligned, it can place more pressure on these joints, leading to facial pain and even headaches.
When your teeth are aligned, your TMJs can function smoothly, as they were designed.
3. Ensuring even wearing of your teeth
Over time, your teeth naturally wear down, but it’s a gradual process that happens across all of your teeth. If you have misaligned teeth, some may wear faster than others, which can threaten the integrity of the teeth and require replacement at some point.
By straightening your teeth, you can avoid uneven wear in your teeth, which allows both rows of your teeth to go the distance together.
4. Preserving your oral soft tissues
If you have crooked teeth that jut out, you’re probably familiar with the heightened risk for biting your cheeks, tongue, or lips. By straightening out your teeth, you can get these errant teeth back in line where they don’t pose any danger to the soft tissues inside your mouth.
5. Breathing easier
If you have a severe misalignment in your teeth, it can affect how well you can breathe. By restoring alignment in your teeth, you can open up your airways for smoother breathing.
The road to straight teeth
If you want to straighten your teeth to improve your health (and, yes, your smile), we offer a wide range of options, including:
To figure out which teeth-straightening option is right for you, please contact our office in San Jose, California, by calling 408-478-9081, or you can book an appointment with us online.