Why Straight Teeth?
We can all assume that straight teeth look better. Most patients seeking orthodontic treatment actually do so for esthetic reasons because they want a nicer smile. However, aside from the esthetic benefit, there are several reasons why straight teeth are actually healthier too.
As dentists, we have two goals in mind when recommending orthodontic treatment. The first goal is to straighten the teeth. The second and most important goal is to correct the bite. Correcting or improving the bite is critical for the overall health of the teeth. Upper and lower teeth should fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Bringing the upper and lower teeth together is called occlusion. Proper occlusion creates a more balanced bite. It puts the surrounding joints and muscles in a better, more relaxed position. In addition, the stability of a proper bite also causes less wear & tear of the teeth over time.
The teeth and jaw bones provide the necessary underlying support for the skin and lips. When someone starts to age prematurely, and notes wrinkling around the lips and chin, one of the primary causes may be an improper bite. Placing the jaws and teeth in the right position, with braces or Invisalign® will often stretch the skin and reduce wrinkling and sagging of these tissues.
Aside from the esthetic benefit, a balanced bite also balances the joints. When the bite is off the joints are also commonly off too. This will create tension in the surround muscles. It is not uncommon for patients with an improper bite i.e., malocclusion, to also experience headaches, neck aches, shoulder pain, etc. A balanced or proper bite is similar to standing on two feet. If you shift all your weight to one side, eventually you can experience pain in the ankles, knees, hips, lower back, etc. The pain travels from the foot up to the neck. An imbalance in the bite may eventually cause pain around the ears, then down to the neck & shoulders and so on.
Finally, straight teeth are easier to clean and require less maintenance than crowded teeth. This is why more and more adults today are undergoing orthodontic treatment. It is never too late to look better, wrinkle less and have less muscle fatigue. Don’t put off any longer what you know will benefit you greatly. The rewards of straight teeth far outweigh any discomfort you may experience in the process.