Have you ever stopped to think about the effect your smile has on other people? It has more of an impact than you may imagine. In fact, when people meet you for the first time, your smile is the main feature they notice, and one of the things they will remember the most. Studies have shown that an attractive smile can make you seem more approachable and trustworthy to others. It can even make you seem more successful! Keeping your teeth looking their best is clearly important when it comes to putting your best foot forward in public, but did you know that good oral hygiene has benefits that go beyond appearance?
The way we treat our teeth can keep the rest of our body happy, too. There are a number of different ways in which oral health can impact overall health, from reducing inflammation to keeping our memory sharp. Even if you haven’t always been vigilant about brushing and flossing, it’s never too late to adopt a new oral hygiene routine! Here at Bennett Orthodontics, we want to make sure your teeth are healthy and your mouth is happy. Understanding the connections that exist between your oral health and total body health can be key to making that happen, so keep reading below to learn more!
Going beyond an aligned smile
It’s common for people to mistakenly believe that orthodontic treatment exists only to straighten the teeth for a more attractive, aligned smile, but there are many benefits to having teeth and jaws that are properly aligned. Orthodontics itself is functional in nature, offering both cosmetic and health benefits that last. Misaligned teeth and jaws can increase the risk for problems like tooth decay, TMJ pain, and chronic headaches. When left untreated, these problems can worsen, and may even become severe enough that chewing, swallowing, nutrition, and speech are affected. Orthodontic treatment can correct oral issues and give you not only a straighter smile but a mouth that is fully functioning.
Easier to keep teeth cleaner
When you have teeth that are overcrowded, food can become trapped, allowing plaque to form more easily and eat away at the enamel. This leads to cavities forming, sometimes in between your teeth, which makes them harder to see and treat since they may not be discovered until they’ve become problematic enough that you notice symptoms. A buildup of plaque can also adversely affect the health of your gums and has the potential to lead to gum disease. When you give an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Bennett the chance to address this kind of overcrowding, it will make it more difficult for plaque and cavities to form in between your teeth, preserving the long-term health of your gums and mouth.
Improve your digestion
It might seem a little strange to think of teeth and digestion as part of the same process, but chewing your food is the first step to digestion, and arguably the most crucial one. Chewing thoroughly is an important oral habit to cultivate, as this is how your body converts large pieces of food into smaller particles that are easier to digest. This gives your intestines the chance to absorb nutrients properly. When food can’t be chewed properly because of misaligned teeth and jaws, it won’t digest as well in your stomach, and your body will have to use more energy in order to absorb all the nutrients. Jaws and teeth that are properly aligned will allow you to process your food in the most effective manner, from start to finish.
Reduce infection and inflammation
Certain studies have found some association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts suggest that the mechanism that destroys connective tissue in RA is similar to the mechanism in gum disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. By eating a well-balanced diet, practicing good oral hygiene, and scheduling regular dental and orthodontic check-ups, you can reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. This can go a long way toward keeping inflammation and infection to a minimum, at least as far as your mouth is concerned!
Recent studies have shown a link between gum disease and cognitive function. The initial stage of gum disease is gingivitis, with periodontitis being the more advanced form. Adults with gingivitis have consistently performed worse on memory and cognitive skills tests than those with healthier mouths, and periodontitis was associated with cognitive impairment in older adults. Again, regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits are easy things you can do that will help prevent a buildup of bacteria in your mouth, reducing your chances of developing gum disease.
Keep your confidence up with a beautiful smile by Bennett Orthodontics
If your smile is what people are most likely to remember about you, don’t let them take away an image of you with unattractive teeth or bad breath! Both of these things and more can be caused by gum disease and tooth decay, which can have a very real effect on your self-esteem and self-image. When you are worried about what people will see when you smile, the level of confidence you have in yourself and your appearance can take a hit. A healthy mouth that’s free from gingivitis and cavities can not only give you a smile you love and want to share, you may even find that you’re eating, sleeping, and concentrating better, too, since you won’t have any aching teeth or mouth infections to distract you!
Are you in Mobile or the surrounding area and want more information on how orthodontics can help you achieve better oral and total body health? At Bennett Orthodontics, we provide personalized treatment plans to work with your smile and your lifestyle. Dr. Bennett uses leading-edge techniques and state-of-the-art technology to achieve optimal results, and our entire team is dedicated to giving every patient we see an amazing orthodontic experience from beginning to end. We create smiles that are not only attractive but healthy and functional as well. Get in touch with our office today to talk to a member of our team about all the ways Bennett Orthodontics can change your smile for the better!