When teeth are crooked, overlapped, rotated and crowded, they are much more challenging to keep clean. Teeth that are difficult to keep clean are more likely to result in cavities and gum disease. With misaligned teeth, there are more nooks and crannies where plaque and bacteria can easily develop and become difficult to remove. Bacteria produce acids that can start to eat away at the teeth, causing cavities. Often with misaligned teeth, cavities between the teeth are more common because the teeth are difficult to floss. Gum issues such as gingivitis and periodontitis can also result from an inability to brush and floss adequately.
When teeth are misaligned, and the occlusion (the way the teeth bite together) is off, it can lead to worn down tooth surfaces and even tooth chips and fractures. This is due to an uneven distribution of forces on the teeth. When teeth are correctly aligned, and the occlusion is in the correct place, the biting and chewing force is distributed throughout the mouth, and the burden doesn’t fall on just a couple of teeth. In the end, the even distribution of forces reduces the susceptibility to tooth wear and chipping.
Straight teeth are much easier to keep clean. There are fewer nooks and crannies where plaque and bacteria can get trapped and lead to problems such as cavities and gingivitis. Even with straight teeth, it is essential to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Teeth in proper alignment and with the correct occlusion look and feel better than misaligned teeth. Straight teeth give people a confidence boost for talking and smiling and can even improve their quality of life. Talk to your dentist about your options for straightening your teeth.