Poor dental health can lead to other problems in your body, according to Mayo Clinic. But if you straighten your teeth, you could end up improving your health. We asked the experts for more details about how to straighten your teeth and boost your dental health.
Teeth Straightening and Dental Health
Crooked teeth don’t just affect your smile—they can negatively affect your dental and overall health, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. Problems can include:
- Increased risk of tooth decay
- Increased risk of tooth injury
- Decreased health of jawbones and joint problems
- Difficulty eating food
Concerns about teeth straightening procedures may cause some people to not seek treatment, but Mayo Clinic points out that braces are a generally very safe treatment option. There are also a number of safe and more modern orthodontic treatments available.
“Orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth is a safe procedure if done properly by a licensed dentist or orthodontist,” Norman J. Nagel, DDS, from Nagel Orthodontics, tells WebMD Connect to Care. Nagel adds that there are many benefits of teeth straightening.
“Straight teeth allow the patient to clean their teeth easier, although tooth brushing and flossing are still critical. If patients can chew their food more efficiently because their teeth are straight, their digestion may also improve. Straight teeth that occlude without interferences reduce the possibility of significant abrasion or attrition of the dental enamel. Straight teeth allow for improved gum health,” Nagel says.
Teeth Straightening Options
There are different teeth straightening options based on how misaligned your teeth are, how healthy your gums are, and the results you want to see at the end of treatment.
- One option is braces—metal or ceramic brackets that are glued to teeth and connected to wires. The wires gradually shift the teeth over time to fix alignment issues. Both children and adults can use braces and the treatment could last around two years.
- Another option for straightening teeth is using clear or “invisible” aligners. Clear aligners are tight-fitting custom mouthpieces that fit over your teeth. Orthodontists usually prescribe these devices for adults and teens. Clear aligners are removable, and you will use several mouthpieces throughout your treatment, with each mouthpiece moving your teeth more towards alignment.
- Enamel shaping is a quick and easy treatment that is used to align slightly uneven or crowded teeth. It is typically combined with other dental procedures like veneers, and the results are immediate.
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