Straight, white and socially acceptable is not the opening lines to a rant about ethnicity, privilege and social preferences – goodness knows there’s enough of that around. Rather we would like to explore the often-overlooked benefits of having the gift of straight, white teeth.
We call it a ‘gift’ because there are so few people in the world who enjoy straight teeth without any orthodontic intervention, and naturally white teeth are a rarity what with our diets and indulgence in red wine and coffee. We all know the importance of having a great smile and fresh breath, but there are issues which lurk in the shadows of uneven and discoloured teeth that are more important than mere social acceptance.
What are these issues, and how do they affect the rest of our body?
Aesthetically, a crooked smile isn’t ideal. However, for those affected by an underbite, overbite or overlapping teeth, problems are likely to develop as the teeth start to wear unevenly. With only a few teeth doing the job of chewing, or with teeth rubbing against each other unnaturally, we will see irregular wearing. We may start to chew in an unnatural way which often causes damage to the muscles in the mouth and jaw leading to pain and stiffness. In some cases, a misaligned jaw can lead to neck pain and chronic headaches.
Straight teeth are easier to clean as they present their face in a regular way to the toothbrush and can be flossed with minimal effort. However, a jumbled mouth of teeth can be incredibly difficult to keep clean as our toothbrushes just cannot reach those unnatural crevices. Flossing can be a painful nightmare! Logically, unbrushed areas will suffer from a build-up of plaque which becomes tartar and results in compromised teeth and bad breath.
Poor oral hygiene from inadequate cleaning of uneven teeth leads to gum disease. When infection sets in, gums will become inflamed, painful, may bleed and are likely to recede resulting in loss of teeth. However, gum disease doesn’t only affect our mouths. The bacteria present in periodontal disease can cross the blood/brain barrier and result in memory loss and Alzheimer’s. In addition, people suffering from gum disease face the risk of cardio diseases as the bacteria are introduced to the heart muscles.
When beauty comes down to mere millimetres, it’s clear to see why so many choose to have a severe overbite (buck teeth), underbite or crooked teeth rectified. The entire shape of your face is affected by the positioning of your teeth, from the width and length of your jaw to the position of your lips which may jut out if pushed by teeth within. Corrective procedures on the teeth can affect the position of your chin, and your cheeks can be plumped out or sunken in depending on what’s going on inside. A beautifully symmetrical face must start with symmetrical, even teeth.
Discoloured or stained teeth can make us uncomfortable, even if they are straight and even. Did you know that a white smile can take years off your face? Darker teeth are associated with age, so an hour in the dentist’s chair for a professional whitening session can do more for you than those expensive creams!
A white smile on top of beautifully straight teeth boosts your confidence, makes you more attractive and more approachable, and encourages you to smile more…which makes you appear friendlier.
So, are you straight, white and socially acceptable? You’ll be thrilled to know that no dental problem is too big for our highly skilled dentists, and in just a few hours you can enjoy your set of teeth along with renewed confidence and great health.