Orthodontics is the field of dentistry that focuses on correcting teeth and jaw alignment issues in addition to overcrowding and gaps between teeth. Improving dental function and protecting oral health were once the main functions of teeth straightening tools. Orthodontics has now been fulfilling a new highly significant role – that of enhancing dental appearance.
The interest from adult patients wanting more attractive smiles has skyrocketed since the availability of removable clear aligner-like braces has hit the orthodontics market. Yes, showing off a wide and winning smile is a worthwhile reason to invest in orthodontic treatment, but are there other reasons why one might consider straightening one’s teeth?
The Need For Teeth Straightening Treatment
Patients who have dental alignment issues (misaligned bites, overcrowding, crooked teeth) experience a number of challenges that affect their ability to bite and chew, speak, and maintain good oral hygiene. Some patients may even experience dental pain and headaches that prevent them from enjoying a good night’s sleep. These challenges ultimately end up adversely impacting their health, daily functioning and overall quality of life.
Dentists are most often concerned about the dental health and function of patients with orthodontic issues. When bad oral bacteria are not kept in check in the mouth, the consequences to teeth and gums can be dire. Bad bacteria overwhelm the mouth to produce enamel-destroying and disease-causing plaque build-up. Plaque deposits that are not removed eventually end up causing cavities and tooth loss and gum disease sets in.
One way for patients struggling with poor oral hygiene is to consider teeth straightening treatments to make cleaning the mouth easier and more effective.
In addition to tooth loss and gum disease, orthodontic issues open up the risk of dental wear and tear, another danger that threatens the loss of teeth. When teeth do not sit in their natural seats, undue pressure is placed on neighbouring teeth due uneven bite force. This extra unwanted pressure can weaken teeth over time.
The dangers related to dental misalignment is not limited to just oral health. Patients will be surprised to learn that poor oral hygiene can affect the physical body too. Studies have found that bad oral bacteria can escape the mouth and land up in the cardiovascular system where they clog arteries to trigger heart attacks and strokes. These bacteria have also been linked to inflammatory conditions in the body.
Patients with less-than-pleasing smiles find that they lack the confidence to take meaningful action to live a rewarding life. These patients often are often too self-conscious of their dental appearance to engage with others, to the detriment of their personal, social and professional lives.
The third aspect of health that can benefit from orthodontic treatment is mental health. Once a patient has restored their ability to smile openly again, they are more inclined to smile more. Smiling sets off positive reactions in the brain. The more one smiles authentic smiles the more the brain produces happy-feeling neurochemicals responsible for feelings of joy and positivity.
Considering the multiple benefits offered by orthodontics, treatments in teeth straightening are a worthwhile investment.