Did you know that proper teeth alignment is good for more than just your looks?
It turns out that a properly aligned smile can also affect your health in some surprising ways.
But what does proper teeth alignment actually look like, and how do you achieve it? Let’s talk about it.
Why Proper Teeth Alignment Matters
The aesthetic benefit of straight teeth is obvious, but it’s easy to forget that the alignment of our teeth affects their functionality, too. We might not realize how much our smile impacts our daily life until we experience a problem with something like speech, chewing food, or jaw pain.
Dental malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth, can have long-term effects on our overall health, too. Studies have shown that misaligned jaws and teeth are linked to obstructive sleep apnea—a potentially dangerous condition where a person’s breathing pauses while they sleep—and other serious issues like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.
How Should Your Teeth Align?
When you smile, your teeth should look straight and even, with no gaps or overlapping. Your teeth should line up in a way that makes it easy for you to bite and chew without pain.
But just because your teeth look straight from the front doesn’t mean they’re properly aligned. Misalignment in the back teeth can be especially tricky to spot, because the teeth in the rear don’t usually show when you smile.
If you’re curious about whether or not your teeth are aligned properly, you’ll have to consult with a dentist. Here’s what they’ll look for:
- Your upper and lower jaws should align symmetrically
- Your upper teeth should slightly overlap your lower teeth
- Your upper teeth should fit into the grooves of your lower teeth like puzzle pieces
- All the upper teeth should rest in front of the lower teeth when you bite down
It’s important to note that most people are born with slightly misaligned teeth. It’s normal! In fact, about 3 out of 4 people have some degree of dental misalignment. But not every case of misalignment needs orthodontic treatment.
Who needs to have their teeth straightened?
If you’re unhappy with the way your teeth look, or if your misaligned bite causes you difficulty in your everyday life, you can benefit from orthodontic treatment.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be evaluated by age 7 to see if they need braces. While it’s best to get braces between ages 9 and 14, there’s no reason not to get them later in life if you need them.
You should consider getting treatment if:
- You want to change the way your smile looks
- You can’t bite down on food properly
- Your speech is distorted by a lisp or whistling sounds
- You experience pain or hear a clicking sound when you move your jaw
- You are forced to breathe from your mouth because breathing from your nose is difficult
- You’ve been told that you snore loudly as you sleep
Only a dentist will be able to determine if your smile can be improved with orthodontic care. If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your dentist as soon as possible.
Dental Alignment Solutions That Can Help
There’s no need to suffer from a misaligned bite. Whether you’re looking to fix a minor malocclusion or more significant one, there are options available that can help bring your teeth into proper alignment. A good dentist will be able to help identify the most appropriate treatment plan based on the severity of your condition.
For Mild to Moderate Misalignment: Invisible Braces
Invisible braces like ALINA use a series of clear aligners to gradually move your teeth into position. These aligners fit snugly over the teeth and should be worn for at least 22 hours per day. They should only be removed for meals, brushing, and flossing.
Invisible braces have a few advantages over traditional metal braces with brackets and wires:
- Crystal clarity – You can wear your aligners all day long without people noticing them.
- Better oral hygiene – Invisible braces don’t interfere with your brushing, so you can keep your smile fresh and healthy without any special cleaning tools or extra steps.
- Fewer trips to the dentist – Other types of braces require frequent visits to the dentist for adjustments and checkups, but invisible aligners can be printed in advance and adjusted remotely and shipped to your door. This means less time out of your schedule for appointments!
- Superior comfort – Invisible braces are perfectly smooth and don’t snag the tongue or the walls of your mouth.
- Faster results – Most patients can reach their desired smile in just 6 to 18 months.
- No dietary restrictions – Most patients who have traditional metal or lingual braces are advised to avoid excessively crunchy, hard, or sticky food, to prevent the braces from being damaged. This isn’t the case for people who choose ALINA invisible braces, so go ahead and snack away!
The price of invisible braces is typically higher than that of both metal and lingual braces, but they are well worth the investment if you want a straighter smile without the hassle. To find out whether you’re a good candidate for this type of treatment, book a consult with ALINA today.
Why ALINA Invisible Braces Should Be Your Choice for Proper Teeth Alignment
When your teeth are properly aligned, you can eat without issue, speak more clearly, and smile with confidence. ALINA makes it easy to achieve perfect alignment using:
Better materials – ALINA aligners are made of space-age, perfectly transparent material that is just the right balance of flexible and rigid to move your teeth into their optimal places.
Better technology – ALINA uses the latest in digital scanning, 3D printing, and Ai prediction technology to help uncover your most beautiful smile.
Better results – With over a million happy patients over the past 25 years, ALINA has proven itself time and again as an effective way to achieve beautiful smiles for adults and teens alike.
To learn more about how ALINA uncovers your perfect smile, visit our how ALINA works pages.