November 27, 2017
Your smile is one of the very first things people notice when they meet you, and one of the things they remember the most. Having a bright, healthy smile can make you seem more approachable, successful, and even more trustworthy, so taking good care of your mouth is one way of putting your best foot forward when stepping out into the world. But there are plenty of reasons to pay attention to your smile that go beyond the more obvious benefits. Good oral hygiene can actually have a positive impact on your overall health!
Studies have shown that there are a number of different ways in which oral health can impact our bodies. From reducing inflammation to helping our memory stay in tip-top shape, the way we treat our teeth can keep the rest of us happy, too. There’s no age limit on adopting an excellent oral hygiene routine, so whether you’re fifteen, fifty, or anywhere in between, Dudley Smiles wants to make sure your teeth stay healthy and your mouth stays happy. To learn more about the connections between oral health and total body health, and how we can help you get there, keep reading!
Beyond a bright smile
People often think of orthodontic treatment only in terms of straightening the teeth to produce a more perfect smile, and aren’t always aware of the many benefits that properly aligned teeth and jaws offer. Orthodontics is actually functional in nature, offering both cosmetic and health benefits that last. When left untreated, dental issues can cause health problems that interrupt proper chewing, swallowing, nutrition, and speech. Misaligned teeth and jaws can increase the risk for tooth decay, TMJ pain, and chronic headaches. Orthodontic treatment can correct these issues and give you not only a straighter smile, but a mouth that is functioning to its fullest potential.
You may not think of teeth and digestion going together, but jaws and teeth that are properly aligned are what allow you to chew and process your food in the most effective manner. Chewing our food is the very first part of the digestion process, and also the most crucial, yet many of us neglect this essential step by scarfing our food down, barely even chewing it before swallowing.
Chewing thoroughly is an important oral habit to cultivate. This is how our bodies convert large pieces of food into smaller particles that are easier to digest, giving the 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, meaning your body will have to use more energy in order to absorb all the nutrients.
Keep tooth decay at bay
Overcrowded teeth can be much harder to clean than a mouth where each tooth is in its best place. Plaque can easily accumulate due to trapped food, eating away at the enamel and forming cavities. To add insult to injury, cavities in between your teeth are harder to see and treat because they may not be discovered until they’ve become a big enough problem that you notice symptoms.
The buildup of plaque is also key to the health of your gums, because it can lead to gum disease. Giving an orthodontist like Dr. Si the chance to address these overcrowding issues will make it harder for plaque and cavities to form in between your teeth, preserving the health of your gums and mouth.
Do you bite the inside of your cheek frequently when you’re chewing, speaking, or swallowing? Do your teeth collide when you chew or close your mouth? If these issues are happening regularly, it can cause you lasting problems. Colliding teeth can be chipped or injured, and jaws that are repeatedly sustaining force can suffer. Orthodontic treatment is able to address these issues, offering not only relief in the short-term, but providing you with the kind of results you need to protect your teeth, your jaws, and your smile for a lifetime.
Boost your confidence
If a smile is what people are likely to remember most about you, you don’t want them to take away an image of you with unsightly teeth or bad breath! Both these things – and more – can be caused by gum disease and tooth decay. This can seriously affect your self-esteem and your self-image, and the level of confidence you have in yourself and your appearance can really take a hit. A healthy mouth that’s free from gingivitis and cavities can almost guarantee a better quality of life. You’ll able to look into the mirror with a smile you love, and 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 anymore.
Keep yourself sharp
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that is also the initial stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is the more advanced form. Studies have shown that a link exists between gum disease and cognitive function. Adults with gingivitis performed worse on memory and cognitive skills tests than those with healthier mouths. Additionally, periodontitis was associated with cognitive impairment in older adults. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits are easy and important ways you can help prevent the kind of buildup of bacteria in your mouth that can cause gum disease.
Reduce infection and inflammation
Research has also found an 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 and practicing excellent oral hygiene, you can help reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. This will go a long way toward keeping inflammation and infection to a minimum, at least in your mouth.
Keeping teeth and gums healthy in Issaquah and Kent
If you’re in Issaquah, Kent, or the surrounding areas, and in need of orthodontic treatment to help you achieve better oral and total body health, Dudley Smiles is where you want to be. Dr. Si is an experienced orthodontist, and we’ve got a talented team dedicated to providing you with personalized service at every visit. We can help provide you with a smile that’s not only attractive, but healthy and functional as well. Get in touch today to see all the ways we can change your smile for the better!