Achieving perfect teeth so that you have a beautiful smile is a goal for many people. But straightening your teeth also brings benefits in addition to an attractive appearance. Straight teeth can reduce your risks for tooth and gum problems. The inability for you, or even your dentist, to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums can increase your risk of developing gingivitis or periodontal disease.
- Overcrowding – teeth that are too close together are hard to clean, which leads to accumulation of plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria.
- Malocclusion – teeth that aren’t aligned correctly are referred to as malocclusion. Sometimes this means that teeth hit each other improperly when they bite together, which may cause wear or chipping. With time, damaged teeth can expose the bottom tooth layer called dentin. This creates sensitivity and promotes decay.
- Traumatic occlusion – injury to parts of the mouth can result from closing the jaw repeatedly and with excessive force. It can cause undesired spaces to develop between the teeth, which leads to food buildup and tender gums. If not removed completely, tooth decay will occur.
Attempting to create a straight smile with restorations like veneers or crowns may not be the best choice, because they don’t address the underlying problem. Your dentist may suggest straightening your teeth with orthodontic treatment. This may involve traditional braces, Invisalign, retainers, appliances, or a combination of treatments. The goal is to correct your teeth so that it becomes easier to maintain good dental hygiene, and therefore lower your risk of gum disease or tooth decay.