In America, visits to the orthodontist are very common among those in their early teens. But not everyone gets their teeth straightened at this early age, and not everyone sees this treatment as important, either. For quite a few people, it may not seem like their misaligned teeth are much of a problem. Others may never have thought getting their teeth straightened was a worthwhile investment. As the years pass, however, the wisdom of this investment becomes quite apparent.
Proper tooth alignment is not just about your appearance. It’s about correct distribution of the stresses of biting and chewing. Your teeth are actually designed to benefit from these stresses, but when the teeth are misaligned, stress hits on the wrong parts of the teeth and this gradually creates problems. Some of those problems can be serious and result in eventual tooth loss and even major health problems. We’ll explain why.
When you bite into something hard, your jaws can exert pressures of well over 100 pounds. If your top and bottom teeth meet perfectly, there’s an even distribution of these pressures. If the correct surfaces of the teeth don’t meet, you get pressure on the wrong part of the tooth which causes wear that the tooth was not designed for. The result can be chipping, cracking or erosion of the tops or edges of the teeth. The teeth can even be visibly shortened by all the wear and tear.
When a tooth is constantly subjected to uneven alignment and pressures, it can be rocked back and forth with every chew. This flexing often results in indented fractures along the gum line. If the fractures get deep enough, they will cause sensitivity to heat, cold and sweets and perhaps even the loss of the tooth. Correction of the bite can prevent these fractures from getting worse and your dentist can repair the fracture.
Properly aligned teeth are the easiest to keep clean on a daily basis. There’s no problem reaching all the surfaces with a toothbrush and it’s not hard to pass floss between the teeth. Concealed corners where bacteria can grow and plaque can develop are minimal. But when teeth are crooked, it’s a very different matter. Crannies between misaligned teeth are breeding grounds for bacteria and that accelerates the progression of cavities and gum disease.
When oral bacteria are not adequately cleared away and gum disease results, the effects can be systemic, which means the whole body’s health can be damaged. The National Institutes of Health notes that increased risk of heart disease, pneumonia and diabetes is associated with the presence of periodontal disease. A woman may also be more likely to have a pre-term birth or deliver a low-weight baby as well.
Do you think that if you’re over 18, it’s too late for you? A generation ago, that might have been the prevailing idea but now there are options for you, whatever your age. However, one of the most popular services at StarBrite Dental, the office of Maryam Seifi , is Invisalign aligners . These aligners are virtually invisible—chances are good that unless you tell your friends about them, they will never notice you have them. No more wires and difficulty keeping your teeth clean—Invisalign aligners pop out to enable you to brush and floss your teeth.
The result of Invisalign aligners is the same as metal braces—beautifully aligned teeth that are easier to keep clean and healthy. Dr. Maryam Seifi is a 2017 Preferred Provider for Invisalign in the Rockville, Maryland area. Come in for a free Smile Evaluation to find out if this is the right solution to give you a beautiful new—and healthier—smile. Call StarBrite Dental today to schedule your evaluation: (301) 770-1070 .