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Health benefits of teeth straightening

If your teen has been complaining about her near-perfect smile, but you haven’t been able to justify the expense of teeth straightening for a seemingly cosmetic procedure, you may be underestimating the importance of straight teeth. Consider the following reasons for investing in your teen’s oral care: It goes much deeper than simply having a pretty smile.

Boy with braces

1Decreased eating discomfort

Getting food stuck between your teeth can be a pain (literally), but did you know it can cause deeper dental problems? Dr. Laura Frangella of Manhattan-based Frangella Dental explains: “Crowding and/or spacing of teeth can lead to food collection between the teeth, resulting in plaque buildup, swollen and red gums, and periodontal disease. When teeth are properly aligned, it helps protect them from food collection, decreasing the chance of potential periodontal problems.”

2Ease of preventive care

Whether your teen has straight or crooked teeth, her mouth is a hotbed of bacterial activity just waiting to find an opportunity to take hold. In this respect, straightened teeth have the advantage. A misaligned smile provides infinitely more nooks and crannies for bacteria to gather, all outside the reach of the average toothbrush. Dr. Sanda Moldovan of Los Angeles, California, agrees: “Crooked and crowded teeth can make it hard to brush and floss thoroughly, which can lead to cavities and gum disease.”

Pamela Waterman, president of Metal Mouth Media, goes on to say, “Perhaps most importantly, one of the greatest benefits of having teeth straightened is that it makes it easier to floss, and flossing is an easy yet hugely successful tool for maintaining good overall health. For example, research has now shown that oral health and heart health are directly connected.”

3Improved self-confidence

In today’s world, there’s no denying that projecting a positive self image is important in finding a job, developing new friendships and generally making your way in the world. If your teen feels uncomfortable smiling or laughing around others, he may find his self-esteem beginning to flag. New York-based Dr. Steven Roth and Boston-based Dr. Todd Pizzi concur that straightened teeth can lead to higher self-confidence and self-esteem. Many teeth straightening options are available to help you bolster your child’s self-confience.

4Prevention of injuries & illnesses

Crooked or misaligned teeth can lead to tooth and mouth injuries or illnesses. According to Dr. Roth, “Teeth were designed to have forces absorbed down their long axis. Vertically crooked teeth are off angle in their force absorption. A ‘bad bite’ can contribute to speech impairments, tooth loss, chipped teeth and other dental injuries.” Dr. Pizzi expands. “Improperly aligned teeth can also cause headaches and TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder.”

What is Invisalign?

More on teeth straightening

Straight talk on braces
Brace yourself: Braces for adults

Braces and your teenager: What are your options?

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