Straight teeth are not just about having a beautiful smile. Having straight teeth is related to better oral health. When food gets stuck between teeth, bacteria will start to build up, which may result in infection. An infection can lead to other health issues such as respiratory issues. This can include health concerns like COPD, pneumonia, and bronchitis.
Correcting issues with your teeth can help prevent poor oral health. But how do you know if you need your teeth straightened? The below points are tell-tale signs.
1. Uneven Bite
When you have an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, your teeth can be at risk for decay. An uneven bite can increase the risk of cavities, gingivitis and even breakage. It can also lead to headaches, earaches and jaw strain. If your bite is not aligned, it can affect how your food is broken down when chewing. When food is not chewed properly, the result can be gastrointestinal upset.
2. Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth are a concern for many reasons. Flossing is difficult if your teeth are crooked, which will lead to food left between teeth and plaque build-up. Bacteria will form in these areas, potentially leading to infection. However, this is not the only problem. Because crooked teeth can impede appropriate chewing, this can then lead to gastrointestinal issues. Crooked teeth can also lead to extreme wear and tear on the jaw muscles, teeth and gum, which leads to other complications.
3. Overcrowded Teeth
Similarly, overcrowding can result in an issue with cleaning your teeth thoroughly. The floss may not be able to get between your teeth to clean the plaque. This can result in disease in your gums and tooth decay. Your hygienist may even have trouble cleaning those difficult spots also.
4. Gaps in Teeth
Gaps in your teeth can also create an issue with food getting stuck between them. Again, this can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis and gum issues. This can put you at risk for oral infection.
5. Bad Breath
If your breath smells bad, this is a sign that bacteria are trapped between your teeth. As mentioned, food can get stuck in between teeth if your teeth are crooked or overcrowded. If you notice that food is often getting stuck between your teeth, chances are you need to straighten them.
6. Jaw Pain
Jaw pain or fatigue is a symptom of your jaw not being aligned properly and is a signal that you need to get your teeth straightened. In this case, you may have fatigue in your jaw after eating. Clicking sounds in your jaw may be a sign that braces are needed. If you bite your tongue often, this may be another indication that there is an alignment issue.
7. Speech Issues
Your speech is yet another indication that there may be an issue. If you notice a lisp, this may be the product of overcrowding or teeth that do not align properly. Mental health is another concern related to speech impediments and a negative self-image due to the appearance of your teeth. Your smile should contribute to your confidence and a positive self-image.
These are all signals that you may need to get your teeth straight. Some of these are more obvious signs than others. However, each one is an indication that teeth straightening is needed.
If any of these issues are present, it is time to seek the advice of an orthodontist. The orthodontist will complete an evaluation with x-rays to determine if you require braces. If so, the doctor will determine the best treatment plan for you, and you can be on your way to having a healthy mouth. You will also benefit by receiving a new beautiful smile.