Having crooked teeth can be a confidence killer, but it might come as a surprise to you that fixing your crooked teeth is good for your health too. If you are under the assumption that straightening your crooked teeth is strictly cosmetic dentistry, you might find the following list health benefits that come with straightening your crooked teeth:
Six Long-Term Health Benefits to Having Straight Teeth
- Having straight teeth gives you healthy gums.
When your teeth are unevenly spaced, they are more prone to periodontal diseases. Periodontal disease is no laughing matter… They cause teeth decay and tooth loss, and even cause infection throughout the blood stream. In fact, people who have periodontal disease are more prone to cardiovascular health problems and diseases such as diabetes.
When you straighten your teeth out, your gums are able to fit more securely around your teeth. This both holds your teeth in more securely, and reduces the likelihood of inflammation and redness that lead to gum disease.
- Straight teeth are easier to keep clean… and healthy.
When your teeth are crowded and crooked, it makes it difficult to make sure every nook and cranny in your mouth is adequately clean. If you miss a “hard to reach” place in your mouth frequently, the tartar and bacteria aren’t removed, which gives it the opportunity to fester and cause tooth decay.
When your teeth are straight, there aren’t as many teeny crevices that bacteria can get trapped in. This makes it less likely that you’d accidentally miss a spot in your daily cleaning habits that would result in a cavity.
- Crooked teeth cause abnormal tooth wear.
When your teeth are straight, your upper and lower teeth should fit together like puzzle pieces when your bite down. When your teeth are crooked, this isn’t the case. Your crowded teeth are more likely to rub against the other half of your bite when you eat. If you have overly spaced teeth, you might unconsciously be making abnormal jaw movements to make up for the difference. Both situations wear your teeth out faster than they should, and lead to loss of tooth enamel and tooth decay over time.
Additionally, if your bite is unnatural to make up for your unevenly spaced teeth, your jaw may be paying the cost. If your jaw sustains damage over time, it is far more difficult to repair than just straightening your teeth.
- Straight teeth are less likely to be damaged.
If you were in an accident, your teeth might be damaged; this is the case for both straight and crooked teeth. However, the likelihood of your teeth being damaged as a result of your accident are greater if your upper teeth protrude from your mouth. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Or as we say, the tooth that sticks out gets the damage.
- Straightening crooked teeth reduces headaches and neck pain.
If your teeth are crooked, you have an elevated risk of getting headaches. Your crooked teeth could be putting extra stress on your gums, and the bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. That causes headaches. On top of that, your crooked teeth could cause a misaligned jaw, which is a common cause of chronic headaches. On top of that, your crooked teeth could make you have to chew harder or in unnatural ways, which leads to… you guessed it… headaches.
All of these factors could be reduced by straightening out your teeth.
- Straight teeth improve your confidence and enjoyment of life.
Your mental health is an incredibly important part of your overall health. There are many studies that link a positive outlook in life to a clean bill of health. Your confidence in your smile is an important part of your self esteem, and mental outlook.
As many as one-third of Americans feel insecure about their smile. And about one-fifth of Americans refuse to smile in photographs out of embarrassment over their teeth. This is a common factor that impairs a person’s self-image and quality of life. Straightening your teeth out is an easy way to improve how you feel about yourself, which improves your overall outlook in life, which improves your health and longevity.
Do you have any other factors to add to our list? Please share with us in the comment section below!