Straight teeth help an individual to bite, chew and speak effectively. Properly aligned teeth and jaws contribute to healthy teeth and gums and may alleviate or prevent physical health problems. Teeth that work better also tend to look better. An attractive smile is a pleasant “side effect” of orthodontic treatment.
Straight teeth are less prone to decay, gum disease and injury. Properly aligned teeth collect less plaque, a colorless, sticky film composed of bacteria, food, and saliva. Decay results when the bacteria in plaque feed on carbohydrates (sugar and starch) we eat or drink to produce acids that can cause cavities. Plaque can also increase the risk for periodontal (gum) disease, but these risks decline when teeth are properly aligned and are easier to keep clean. As for injuries to teeth, protruding upper teeth are more likely to be broken in an accident. When repositioned and aligned with other teeth, these teeth are at a decreased risk for fracture.
Untreated orthodontic problems can cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints, sometimes leading to chronic headaches or pain in the face or neck. Treatment by an orthodontist to correct a problem early may be less costly than the restorative dental care that is required to treat more severe issues that can develop in later years.
In addition to the health benefits, an attractive smile is a beautiful asset. It contributes to self-‐esteem, self-‐confidence, and self-‐image—important qualities at every age. A pleasing appearance is a vital component of self-‐confidence. A person’s self-‐esteem often improves as orthodontic treatment brings teeth, lips, and face into proportion. In this way, orthodontic treatment can benefit social and career success and enhance a person’s general attitude toward life.
For more information or for a complimentary consultation, call Dr. Blaine Langberg and Team at 203-431-4466.