Straighter teeth are usually considered to be a matter of aesthetics. We live in an image-driven society, and studies have found that bad teeth can impact everything from your social life to your job prospects. But straight teeth are about more than looking good in selfies or impressing friends, potential mates, and employers. It turns out that straight teeth are important for your oral health, nutrition, and even your diction. Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, and Peter Grinc, DDS, offer a range of cosmetic and restorative dentistry services in Washington, D.C., to get you looking and feeling your best.
How straighter teeth contribute to your oral health
Practicing good oral hygiene on a regular basis, which consists of flossing at least once a day and brushing your teeth after meals, is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from tooth decay and gum disease. Many people mistakenly believe that gum disease and tooth loss are a problem for old age, but the data tells a different story.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately half of American adults aged 30 and up suffer from some form of gum disease, which ranges from gingivitis (bleeding gums) to advanced periodontitis. Gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss in American adults, but contrary to popular belief, tooth loss is not an inevitable part of the aging process.
The connection between straighter teeth and good oral health
In order to be able to properly clean the entire surface of each tooth from every angle, you have to be able to reach it with your toothbrush and floss. Common orthodontic problems like crowded or crooked teeth can make it difficult, if not impossible, for your toothbrush and floss to clean between each tooth and under the gumline, leaving behind traces of bacteria. Bacteria then turns to tartar and plaque, the main culprits behind cavities and gingivitis (early-stage gum disease).
Nutrition and speech
Bite and alignment problems don’t just make it harder to keep your teeth and gums clean and bacteria-free. They can also affect your speech and cause something like an artificial lisp, and even affect your diet, depending on the severity of the problem.
Your general health
As if the risk of tooth decay and gum disease weren’t bad enough, there’s more and more evidence tying poor oral health to an increased risk for other health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and even pregnancy complications.
So as it turns out, straightening your teeth is about more than just looking good. Your oral and general health may depend on it as well.
For more information about tooth decay and gum disease prevention and treatment, contact us today by calling the office directly, or you can book an appointment online.