There’s no doubt that straight teeth make you feel more confident, self-assured and attractive. But did you know there are clear health benefits to having straight teeth that have little to do with a pretty smile? In fact, according to the American Dental Association, correcting crooked and crowded teeth can result in better oral health because those teeth can make daily oral hygiene difficult.
Over time, this can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and possible tooth loss. In addition, an improper bite can interfere with chewing and speaking, cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel and lead to problems with the jaw.
Straight Teeth=Better Overall Health
It’s not all about looks! Taking aesthetics out of the equation, here are some ways in which straight teeth contribute to a patient’s overall health, thanks to our orthodontist on-site, Dr. Crosby.
Simply put, straight teeth are easier to clean. Crooked and crowded teeth make it hard to brush properly and get all those nooks and crannies with the floss. And when food gets stuck where the sun don’t shine, nasty bacteria can grow, result in swollen gums, lead to bad breath, cause cavities and maybe even spur on an infection.
The correct fit to the teeth will maintain good gum tissue and jaw joint health. “In the past,” says Dr. Crosby, “we could only straighten the teeth with braces. It’s funny that the process of braces that we used to give you better health to the teeth actually contributed to bad health. It’s typical that at the end of braces, your gums are swollen and there are times that white spots or decay happens. This doesn’t happen with Invisalign.” Hmmm, sounds like a no brainer to us!
Oral Infections and Serious Illness
Before you assume that poor oral hygiene is as far as the problem goes, consider this: oral infections can also lead to more serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, and diabetes.
- In a nutshell, any type of oral infection is systemic, meaning that the infection can be carried by the blood supply to affect other areas of the body. In fact, heart valve problems have been correlated to dental infections.
- According to the American Heart Association, infective endocarditis (IE), also called bacterial endocarditis (BE), is an infection caused by bacteria that may enter the bloodstream and set up shop in the heart lining, a heart valve or a blood vessel. The infection can be caused by bacteria that’s been introduced into the bloodstream, through even the most mundane of activities, such as tooth brushing that causes minor injury to the lining of the mouth or gums. It can even get in there due to an infection in the gums that wasn’t properly treated.
- However the cause, those little destructive bugs can wreak havoc on heart valves and lead to infection of the endocardium. A recent study has shown that people with poor dental health or who bleed when brushing had a higher risk of developing bacteria in the blood.
- So, yes, oral infections can lead to serious illness, that can lead to infection, systemic problems and even death in extreme cases if your body is not strong enough to put up a good fight.
How about you just get invisible braces, straighten out your smile, and avoid all those nasty health complications? Good idea!
The Easy Sell
Sadly, many Invisalign providers pitch the easy sell: clear aligners give you a gorgeous smile! You’ll love yourself again! You can take a confident picture now! YES, YES and YES. Invisalign treatment is all those things. But it’s not the ONLY thing. If you’ve shopped around at all for Invisalign in Dallas, you know this. You’ve seen the ads, you’ve heard the benefits of straight teeth.
So why do most Invisalign providers focus on selling aesthetics more than the overall health benefits of straighter teeth? They focus on aesthetics because most people seek treatment due to appearance, says Dr. Crosby. “We have a lot of patients who come to us to have teeth straightened and have not seen a dentist for years. Fortunately, we work closely with our local dentists. As we align the teeth, we are connecting our patients back into the mainstream of dentistry to have their teeth cleaned and checked.”
Giving You the Straight Talk
Partnering with a provider who knows the other side of the story and can give you the straight talk on the health benefits of corrected teeth is important. With invisible braces, you WILL look better and feel more confident, but you will also enjoy greater overall physical health. That’s a pretty good combination in our eyes.
Eager to learn more about the health benefits of straight teeth? Take a Smile Assessment right here on our website, then call us in Dallas at 469-460-5915 or Frisco at (469) 294-6000 to book your free consultation.