A picture-perfect smile offers an obvious aesthetic appeal, but straight teeth are also more conducive to a cleaner mouth – meaning less bad breath, for one thing. Check out the following health benefits of having straight teeth:
1. Easier to clean
When teeth overlap, there are more hard-to-reach places where dental plaque and food debris can get trapped. Think about a white picket fence. If some of the wooden boards become worn down to the point of toppling over each other, chances are the paint will start to peel between the stacked spots.
Put another way, if teeth are crooked, “there are places the bristles of the toothbrush cannot reach, and plaque and tartar accumulates,” Dr. Kenn Kakosian, an oral surgeon in New York, told the Epoch Times. “People with straight teeth are able to keep them clean without extra effort.”
2. Less bad breath
Because aligned teeth are easier to clean, there are fewer places to harbor anaerobic bacteria, resulting in less bad breath. Anaerobic bacteria, which do not require oxygen to survive, are most commonly found in the intestines, but when they inhabit the throat and mouth their ability to consume vast amounts of protein from food and excrete foul-smelling sulfur compounds can trigger a bout of halitosis. In short, straighter teeth can serve as one step closer to avoiding chronic halitosis.
With that being said, you don’t need perfectly square teeth to avoid stinky breath. Flossing becomes more important for people with a crooked smile – to get between the overlapped teeth – so be sure to floss at least once a day. Using TheraBreath alcohol-free mouthwash is another tally in the win column.
3. Fewer toothaches
Americans lose more than 164 million work hours because of dental health problems, according to a Delta Dental Oral Health and Wellbeing Survey. That’s a whole lot of swollen gums and teeth that are causing pain. Being clean has its perks, and avoiding cavity treatments thanks to bacteria-free teeth is one of them.
4. Reduced risk of disease
Neater teeth also lower the risk of gum disease, which occurs from the excessive buildup of plaque. Red, swollen gums – an early sign of gum disease – can be a result of crowded or gapped teeth. Gum disease can be split into two parts: gingivitis (early-stage gum disease) and periodontitis (advanced-stage gum disease). Research suggests that periodontitis is linked to heart disease, since oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream and affect the inner lining of blood vessels. While the plaque on your teeth is not identical to the kind that accumulates in arteries to cause heart attacks, it is the same species of bacteria.
Gum disease is also associated with diabetes. Simply put, uncontrolled levels of sugar spell bad news for teeth.
5. Fewer headaches
Did you know that some headaches are related to your bite? Tension headaches result from muscle strain, brought on by contracting jaw muscles for long periods of time. The worse one’s bite is, the more he or she might have to compensate by flexing unnecessary muscles during chewing, talking and swallowing.
6. Smaller chance of canker sores
Canker sores are often the product of a minor cut in the mouth. Crooked teeth can push against the soft oral tissues, and for those who routinely bite their cheeks or lips due to a misaligned bite, canker sores and other infections may come at the cost.