A tooth-gapped smile might have been adorable when you were young, but if you still have that gap or another alignment problem, it can interfere with your jaw function and the health of your gums. While most people think of orthodontics in connection with crooked teeth, braces aren’t just about how you look. The way your teeth sit in your mouth can affect your oral health and self-confidence as much as your smile.

Straight Teeth Lessen Risks of Gum Disease

When your teeth are properly aligned, they are easier to brush, floss and keep clean. There are no hard-to-reach places for plaque to build up, so your teeth are less likely to decay. Plaque is a clear, sticky substance that develops when you eat starches or sugars. These foods interact with the bacteria inside your mouth. This interaction creates acids that can erode the enamel on your teeth. Its presence can also affect your gums. Keeping your teeth clean significantly lowers your risk for periodontal disease and infections since plaque can get underneath the gum line and cause an abscess or bone deterioration.

Misaligned Teeth May Fracture or Wear

When you have an accident, protruding, crowded or misaligned teeth are more prone to fracture or chip. The simple functions of chewing or speaking can also cause abnormal wear of your teeth’s surfaces, create conditions for ineffective chewing and place stress on your jaw and gums. That can affect the strength of the bone that supports your teeth. When you can’t chew your food properly, it can lead to digestive disturbances. Excessive wear or a misaligned jaw can also cause headaches and pain in your shoulders, neck or face.

Braces Can Increase Self Esteem

Treatment for crooked, misaligned or crowded teeth can successfully help both children and adults to improve their oral health and self-esteem. While braces, tooth whitening and other corrective orthodontist techniques can physically eliminate imperfections and make your teeth uniform in appearance, one of the largest benefits of having straight teeth is how you feel about yourself. Self-confidence affects all areas of your life. When you feel unattractive, you’re more likely to be self-conscious and hesitant, and that will affect your business dealings, performance at school and your ability to live your life to its fullest.

Orthodontics Benefit All Ages

Kids and teens are not the only group who can benefit from using braces and other orthodontist treatment methods to straighten their teeth and improve their health. Modern-day advances such as invisible braces, affordable payment plans and a stronger focus on the health benefits that straight teeth provide make orthodontics a beneficial solution to misaligned teeth regardless of your age. A healthy smile will make you look younger, more capable and help preserve your teeth, so you won’t have to deal with the problems and aesthetic ramifications that go along with tooth loss later on. It can instil confidence, give others a great first impression and build the foundation for a successful life.

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