The Main Benefits from Straightening Your Teeth
Many of us have memories of going to the orthodontist as a teenager, but what you might not know is that your teeth actually continue to move throughout your lifetime. That means whether or not you’ve had orthodontic treatment in the past, the shifting of your teeth might lead you to feel unhappy with the appearance of your smile. However, there are also several other benefits to straightening your teeth that you may not have considered.
At Dental Excellence, we are passionate about helping our patients not just look their best, but feel their best too! Our team of expert dentists know exactly how important feeling confident in your smile is, and we create every single one of our treatment plans with this in mind. Our dentists are also highly professional and won’t ever recommend you a treatment that won’t have the impact you’re looking for or may pose a risk to your overall oral health, so you can be confident you’re in safe hands when you come in for your tooth straightening consultation.
1. Lifting Your Confidence
This is the biggest reason many of our patients come to us for tooth straightening solutions, and they’re certainly not alone. Around 40% of the UK population admit to not being happy with how their teeth look, and crooked or misaligned teeth can be a big contributor to this.
A bright, beautiful smile can be a massive confidence booster, which has benefits in lots of different parts of your life, from romantic relationships to friendships, to your career and even your relationship with yourself.
As a result, more people than ever in the UK are looking for ways to improve their smile, but without giving up the “natural” look. Invisible aligners and fixed braces are a fantastic way to give your smile a boost without making changes to the structure of the tooth itself, as is the case with treatments like teeth whitening or veneers. Plus, when you straighten your teeth, over time you’ll be able to see other imperfections begin to even out, including uneven tooth edges and discolouration from inconsistent brushing.
2. Improving Jaw Alignment
People with crooked teeth also tend to unconsciously move their jaw position to correct certain movements while they are eating or speaking, which can put more strain on your jaw muscles over time. Crowded teeth also place more pressure on your gums and the supporting bone in some cases. In the long-term, this can, among other things, cause regular headaches or ear and neck pain.
When the teeth are straightened, however, the alignment of the jaw is improved, allowing the muscles to be more relaxed and preventing tooth grinding and involuntary clenching of the jaw muscles, as well as giving you a beautiful new smile!
This kind of complication is usually only a significant issue for more severe misalignments which generally can’t be treated as effectively by clear aligners like Invisalign, but it’s still important to understand the impact that crowded and misaligned teeth can have on your overall health, and is worth thinking about if you’re looking into orthodontic solutions to improve your smile.
3. Reducing Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of bacteria on the teeth and around the gums, which damages the tissue of your gums. It’s very common, and the vast majority of people will experience it to some extent in their lifetime.
Gum disease is primarily caused by plaque buildup on and around the teeth and gums. Plaque is dangerous as it is very sticky and contains a lot of bacteria. Of course, some of these bacteria are completely harmless and some are actually good for your oral hygiene, but there is a lot of harmful bacteria in plaque. As plaque builds up, it can irritate the gums, leading to redness, bleeding and pain in your gums - this early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.
If you leave gingivitis untreated, it can develop into a more serious condition known as periodontitis which affects the soft tissues in your mouth and the structures that actually support your teeth. Periodontitis can be very serious and may cause:
- Damage to the bones in the jaw.
- Gaps to appear in between the teeth.
- Teeth to become loose, and in severe cases, tooth loss.
Fortunately, there are lots of steps before periodontitis becomes that severe for most people. Regularly brushing your teeth and attending dental checkups is the easiest way to look after your teeth and ensure that your dental health is as good as it can be!
However, when your teeth become misaligned, it actually becomes much harder to look after them properly. As the teeth overlap, areas crop up in the mouth that you can’t reach through regular brushing, meaning they’re likely to see considerable plaque buildup, and are more susceptible to gingivitis and periodontitis in the future. If you have misaligned teeth, tooth straightening using fixed braces or invisible aligners is one of the best things you can do to protect your oral health in the long run and give you a beautiful smile that will last you healthily for many years to come.
4. Reducing Tooth Decay
As well as increasing the likelihood of gingivitis and gum disease, misaligned teeth can also increase the likelihood and pace of tooth decay. As bacteria builds up on the surface of the teeth, it can start to break down the outer enamel, which is the protective layer of the tooth. Tooth decay occurs when plaque on the teeth is turned into acid by a chemical reaction with sugars in the mouth - these sugars are present in a huge part of our diet, so while avoiding sugary treats as much as possible is always good for your dental health, there is no way to eliminate them entirely. The best thing you can do is brush regularly and go for checkups when recommended by your dentist.
Tooth decay can cause:
- Dental caries (holes in the teeth)
- Tooth sensitivity
- Discolouration of the teeth
- Bad breath
By improving the alignment of your teeth, you ensure that not only do your teeth look their best, but also that you are able to look after them as well as possible in the long run too!
5. Preventing Bad Breath
Bad breath is a common side effect of tooth decay. Bacteria that grow in your mouth feast on food that is stuck between your teeth and release unpleasant toxins as they do so. Not only do these toxins act on the tooth's surface, but they can also smell bad as well. These nooks that trap food can be minimised by straightening your teeth, and thus reduce the staying power of the harmful bacteria that cause bad breath.
6. Improving Your Overall Health
As we now know, straight teeth can help keep your teeth healthy and your gums protected against bacteria, plaque and tooth decay, which can save you a lot of money on costly dental treatment in the future and keep your mouth looking and feeling its best. However, there are also studies that indicate that good oral health can help improve your general health too!
A 2016 University of Helsinki study found that there is a direct correlation between the infection of the root tooth and coronary artery disease. When the infections are symptomless, there's an even greater chance of contracting this disease. In addition, there is research suggesting a link between gum disease and lung cancer. It seems that patients with serious periodontitis are 24 times more likely than patients with healthy gums to develop lung cancer. Of course, lots of this research isn’t definitive, but it does show that poor oral health can have a massive effect on your overall health, so taking care of your teeth should always be a priority!
Tooth Straightening at Dental Excellence
Many people automatically go straight to treatments like teeth whitening, veneers and other forms of cosmetic dentistry when we talk about the "perfect smile," but forget how much of a difference orthodontics and the alignment of your teeth can make when it comes to giving you confidence in your smile. As well as correcting traditionally “crooked” teeth, invisible braces can also help correct your bite, particularly for mild to moderate under and overbites, which occur when the upper or lower teeth are further forward or backward than they should be, leading to both aesthetic and oral health issues of their own.
At Dental Excellence, we offer state-of-the-art invisible aligners (which look and act in a similar way to treatments like Invisalign) to our patients to make the process of straightening your teeth as simple, comfortable and hassle-free as possible. Using new technologies, we can cut down on the number of visits you have to make to the clinic as well, which is ideal for patients who visit us from further afield, such as London or Dublin. During your consultation, your dentist will be able to tell you about the best options for you and your teeth to give you a bright, beautiful smile using aligners.
For patients who want a fast, effective solution then we also offer a fixed tooth-coloured metal brace which will straighten your teeth in around 6 months (this is the average treatment time - dependent on the complexity of your case it could be more or less). This option involves more frequent visits to see us for adjustments, but your smile makeover is complete faster than with invisible aligners so if speed is a priority then this is an ideal solution for you. Many of our patients with deadlines such as a wedding or major birthday chose this route to be sure they have the straight white teeth they want on their big day!
To find out more about the options available to help straighten your teeth, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Dental Excellence, or to book your consultation with our experienced dentistry team!