“Sit up straight!” You may have had a parent or grandparent who reminded you, as a youth, to sit up straight. I did! As an adult, I realize this was their way of saying that slumping looks bad AND is bad for our health.
When a person walks ’round shouldered’ or slumps when sitting, the spine gets used to the curved posture. Over time, it becomes the natural position of that individual and standing erectly, shoulders back in proper position, is a strain. Since the neck is aligned to the spine, it too endures strain.
This has more to do with your smile than you realize. Proper alignment, throughout the body, enables the body to move harmoniously as each part supports the other parts. Just as the skeletal system relies on correct alignment for efficient function, so do teeth.
Your teeth were designed to function as a group. Each tooth not only aids in biting, chewing and proper speech, it bolsters teeth on each side and the one above or below it. A tooth in proper position helps keep neighboring teeth in proper position.
Imagine a tooth tilting out of this position, however. As it moves, the teeth on either side are able to move. This creates a domino effect that can lead to problems that extend far beyond a smile’s appearance.
Misaligned teeth can strain jaw joints, creating headaches, migraines, sore jaw joints and night-time clenching and grinding. Grinding is a common cause of worn teeth and teeth that chip, crack or break.
Many people do not realize that bite misalignment can also lead to pain in facial, head and neck muscles. Nor do they associate ear ringing, dizziness or tingling fingers with bite problems.
An added bonus of straight teeth is the ability to keep them cleaner. When teeth are crowded and crooked, oral bacteria can be more difficult to brush or floss away, becoming embedded in tight angles. Straight teeth support your ability to keep them healthy while lowering your risk for cavities and gum disease.
One of the reasons I completed advanced training in neuro-muscular dentistry was to help our patients avoid the problems associated with bite misalignment. I’ve even seen patients who’ve suffered with years of migraines as a result of having crowns placed that were too short. This is just one example of how a small measure of misalignment can lead to a long list of problems.
While I’m all in favor of helping my patients achieve an appealing smile by straightening teeth, I know it is even more important to create proper bite alignment in the process. This is why I became Invisalign Certified and also provide the services of an Orthodontic specialist, Dr. Jerry Wesley.
For those who are deterred from teeth straightening with traditional braces, Invisalign uses a clear mold to move teeth at a similar pace (or, in some cases, faster) than traditional braces. Invisalign is removable for eating and brushing, which makes them even more appealing for many. And, because they are nearly invisible when worn, many adults and teens avoid feeling self-conscious during treatment.
What the patient sees in the mirror after treatment is a naturally-beautiful smile of straight, healthy teeth. What I see is the terrific smile PLUS a bite alignment that supports harmonious function of teeth, jaw joints, facial muscles and head-&-neck structure that will serve them well. As a dentist, I see the problems a patient will avoid in the future as a result of a proper bite.
Crowded, crooked teeth will only continue to move. Responding to the problem now may help to shorten treatment time and provide you with more options. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles and we’ll discuss how you can enjoy a smile that looks great and functions wonderfully!