Straight Teeth are Healthy Teeth: Why Alignment Matters

You may consider your desire for a more perfect smile a cosmetic issue, but there’s more to your pearly whites than just your looks. Having straighter teeth is better for your oral health now and in the future. 

At Rifkin Dental in Yorktown Heights, New York, we don’t just recommend teeth-straightening treatments to boost your self-confidence, although that’s a nice perk. We also recommend them because of the long-term benefits they offer your oral health, including fewer cavities and a lack of jaw problems. 

Before you feel too guilty about wanting straighter teeth, we want to share with you why alignment matters and what you can do about it.

Why are my teeth crooked?

While there are many possible reasons why your teeth are less than perfect, in most cases you can blame your genetics. Overbites, underbites, and crooked teeth are common misalignment issues that develop due to size differences between the upper and lower jaws. They may also arise if your jaw is too small to house all your teeth. 

Of course, you can play a role in misalignment too. If you sucked your thumb or used a pacifier beyond age three, then you may have altered the shape of your jaw, resulting in a change in your bite and the ultimate placement of your teeth.

Early tooth loss or injury to your jaw can create a misalignment, at’s also possible that a poorly placed filling or crown caused your teeth to shift into a less-than-perfect position. 

Why alignment matters

No matter the cause, your crooked teeth or misaligned bite can lead to oral health problems. If your teeth are crooked or they overlap, you may have a harder time maintaining good oral hygiene, which means you may be at a greater risk of developing cavities, not to mention gum disease and tooth loss.

Your misaligned bite may also alter the workload between your teeth, jaw joints, and muscles. This may cause the enamel on your teeth to wear down faster than normal or increase your risk of breaking a tooth. The misalignment may also strain your jaw and increase your risk of future jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Poor alignment may also affect your chewing and speaking abilities. And, as you’re probably already aware, having crooked teeth can have a significant effect on your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Straightening those teeth

So, wanting a straighter smile isn’t just about your looks. And, lucky for you, when it comes to getting straighter teeth, you have many options beyond a mouth full of metal brackets and wires.

At Rifkin Dental, we can improve the alignment of your teeth and your oral health with Invisalign® clear aligners. You may have your doubts about Invisalign, but the advanced teeth straightening system can fix almost any smile flaws, including:

We may even recommend Invisalign to former braces wearers who’ve experienced a shift in the alignment of their teeth since the metal was removed. 

With Invisalign, we can gently, discreetly, and quickly give you a straighter and healthier smile in about 12-18 months.  

To learn more about the health benefits of a straighter smile and your teeth-straightening options, call Rifkin Dental or request an appointment online today.

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