As well as looking more aesthetically pleasing, straight teeth actually work better when they are in alignment. This is because they can chew, bite, and speak better. Having straight teeth can prevent dental problems later on in life.
As we grow from children to adults, developmental problems with our jaws can happen, such as overcrowding, crossbite, overbite, and underbite. These problems not only make people embarrassed, but can bring health problems along with them, such as:
- Periodontitis: otherwise known as gum disease, this is caused by bad oral hygiene and can be exacerbated when someone has crooked teeth that they cannot clean properly. This means that bacteria and debris can get left in the mouth for a long time, and can develop into infections. Straight teeth, on the other hand, are much easier to clean
- TMJ: Temporomandibular Disorder is caused by crooked teeth, and is improper jaw alignment. As well as being incredible painful, this disorder can cause severe headaches, teeth grinding, and even lockjaw
- Tooth injury: when teeth are straight and aligned, they can act as a strong wall – but when they are crooked and misaligned, injury is much more likely to happen, and protruding teeth are particularly vulnerable to being chipped or cracked
- Uneven wear: when teeth are straight, they all bear the load of chewing equally, but crooked teeth will develop uneven wears. This can mean that some teeth look very different to the others, making the misalignment more obvious
To straighten teeth, most dentists will us customized aligning trays or braces, the latter of which is fixed to the patient’s teeth during the course of the treatment. Arch wires are fitted onto each tooth, and are tightened in order to encourage teeth to move to their proper place. They can also be attached to the back of the teeth, and can be used for bite problems.
Aligners, on the other hand, are not fixed, and are used for less serious problems such as teeth only having to move a short distance. These trays are replaced once or twice a month, and are just as effective as fixed braces.
If you would like to straighten your teeth, call (619) 640-5100 for a free consultation with Dr. Woods.