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Just a Pretty Smile? Guess Again.

Just a Pretty Smile? Guess Again.

by Ashley Little

Straightening teeth with orthodontics doesn't just provide a great smile, it can also have a great impact on overall health. Not only can having straighter teeth improve self-esteem, it can also have a direct effect on systemic health, even influencing the health of the heart.

Correcting the alignment of the teeth plays an important role in oral health. For anyone who has ever struggled to weave floss between tight crowded spaces or who has found that there are places where food gets trapped, straightening teeth with orthodontics makes keeping them clean simple. Bringing teeth into correct alignment allows for the entire front and back surfaces of the teeth to be fully exposed allowing for better, broader brushing and easier flossing.

Easier cleaning leads to better periodontal health, as well. When the mouth is routinely and thoroughly cleaned, bleeding and inflammation can be eliminated. Bleeding and inflammation of the gums are markers for infections like gingivitis and periodontal disease. Having teeth in proper alignment helps to combat these symptoms thus, helping to control gum disease.

In addition to withstanding disease, straighter teeth also allow the processing of food more effectively and help to preserve existing tooth structure. Having a balanced bite reduces abnormal wear and friction on the teeth. Being able to chew food properly and having the teeth come into ideal alignment decreases the incidence of damaged, chipped and broken teeth.

Dr. Mike Maroon from Advanced Dental of New England states, “Straighter teeth improve your overall wellness by allowing you to chew and digest your food properly and maintain excellent oral health through easier cleaning, leading to healthier teeth and gums. This in turn, is good for your heart too!”

Did you know that bacteria in your mouth can have a direct effect on the health of your heart? Crowded and misaligned teeth harbor more plaque and bacteria. Every day the active bacteria thriving in our mouths can be swallowed and transported to the heart. As mentioned, straighter teeth are easier to clean meaning, less plaque and bacteria in the mouth and less that can reach your heart.

Overall health is of the utmost importance and it’s easy to overlook the fact that having positive self-esteem has a direct effect on health. Straightening teeth with orthodontics will not only improve oral health, but can increase confidence and lead to improved mental well-being. Looking to feel good and look great? Start with a great smile.

Ashley Little, RDH is a graduate from the Tunxis School of Dental Hygiene and is currently practicing at Advanced Dental of New England, located in Berlin and Middletown. For more information, call 860-828-3933 or visit



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