When we think about the awareness and maintenance of good oral health, many of us would only consider general dentistry. It’s true that regular check-ups, Hygienist appointments and ensuring you have a good dental routine are essential; but what about the world of Orthodontics?
It is a common misconception that non-essential Orthodontic treatment is only a matter of aesthetics and vanity. Whilst it’s true that procedures are on the rise with a recent survey showing that 40% of respondents were unhappy with their teeth; having straight teeth has more a positive impact on your oral and general health than you might realise. Here at Portman Smile Clinic, we’re passionate about promoting these benefits for you and your overall health and well-being.
To understand the benefits, we first have to look at the problems and the issues they can cause. Generally speaking, Orthodontic problems can be broken down into the following:
- Crowding: Your teeth are too close together
- Spacing: Your teeth are too far apart
- Bite Misalignments: Your bite isn’t straight.
If your teeth are overcrowded or overly spaced, they will almost always be misaligned; presenting more surface area for plaque to bond onto in its sticky, film-like form. Plaque is filled with sugars and bacteria, which attack the protective enamel in your outer teeth. Without this enamel, the dentin and inner parts of your tooth are exposed and you are at a higher risk of tooth decay.
By having straight teeth that are closed together properly, you reduce the amount of plaque that can gather in the crevices of your teeth and reduce your risk of tooth decay. It sounds alarmist, but tooth decay can be extremely dangerous to overall health as it can lead to gum disease and cavities, which have been linked to diabetes. Gum disease also leads to Periodontal disease, which can result in tooth loss or problems with mobility. In more serious cases, gum disease has also been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, where the bacteria that is associated with gum disease and infections enters your bloodstream and attaches to your blood vessels, causing potentially serious complications.
Straight teeth also provide a better surface for brushing, as more of your teeth are more accessible, mean you will be able to clear more of the plaque that gathers on your teeth and give you a better chance of avoiding the complications of tooth decay.
When your teeth aren’t aligned correctly, biting and chewing can put additional stresses on your jaw bone or cause problems with the joints. When these joints are under pressure, they can become painful, with symptoms including dizziness, headaches and even tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Straight teeth can help to minimise the pressure on these muscles and joints, and in some cases has even remove speech problems caused by bite issues.
Straighter teeth also reduce the impact of uneven wearing of your teeth, helping to preserve the hard, protective enamel and giving you the best opportunity to keep your teeth for as long as possible.
The appearance of misaligned teeth, and the issues that can come with them, can also seriously affect how you feel. For many of our patients, the immediate effect that a straighter smile has is on their confidence and well-being. Something that the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) has recognised and raised in their ‘Better Teeth for Life’ guide. In fact, in an Invisalign survey, 92% of respondents said straighter teeth was integral to their confidence, with 80% saying that it gave them the confidence to do things they would have never done before. Thanks to developments in orthodontic technology in recent years, including clear braces and lingual braces, there are more and more teeth straightening solutions available than ever before with varying degrees of discretion, meaning you can feel confident during the course of your orthodontic treatment.
As you follow your personal treatment plan and your teeth become straighter, they’ll become easier to clean, reducing your risk of tooth decay, pressure on your jaw and teeth will be relieved, and you’ll be left with a beautiful smile to help supercharge your confidence!
We are committed to helping you take the first steps towards a straighter, healthier smile and our specialist orthodontists at Portman Smile Clinic are waiting to help you start your journey – find your local Clinic and book an initial consultation to find the right treatment for you.