If you have considered straightening your teeth, some people might tell you that it’s not something you should worry about. They will tell you that it doesn’t matter or that it isn’t worth investing in.
However, you likely feel very different about your teeth. You likely feel like crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth are actually very important–they impact you on a daily basis. And now a new study backs up your feelings. It turns out that people who have crooked teeth (malocclusion) experience a lower quality of life than people who have straighter teeth.
A Population of Teenagers
This study looked at a random sample of 300 18-year-olds from 45 Hong Kong high schools. The population included 135 young men and 165 young women. Subjects couldn’t have had previous orthodontic treatment, nor could they have had serious oral health conditions. They looked at many different potential effects that could be related to the youths’ oral health quality of life, including cavities, gum disease, parents’ education, household income, malocclusion, and more.
They found that although 95% of subjects had some level of gum disease and 59% had cavities, these didn’t significantly impact the students’ reported quality of life. Instead, the only two factors that significantly impacts quality of life were household income, which had a positive impact, and malocclusion, which had a negative impact.
Household income had a positive impact, reducing the extent of physical pain, psychological discomfort, and psychological disability.
Malocclusion, on the other hand, increased levels of psychological discomfort and psychological disability.
Straightening Your Teeth Can Have Tangible Benefits
If you are unhappy because you have crooked teeth, you don’t have to listen to people who tell you that it doesn’t matter. You know your pain is real, and the good news is that you can also get real relief.
We offer many ways for you to straighten your teeth. We offer traditional metal braces, but also more advanced options you might not have had access to as a teen, such as Invisalign as well as veneers, sometimes called “instant orthodontics.” These approaches can give you visibly straighter teeth to help combat psychological discomfort and disability. In addition, straightening your teeth can reduce your risk of gum disease by nearly 50%.
But if you have other problems related to your bad bite, we can help with that, too. One common consequence of teeth that don’t come together right is snoring or sleep apnea. Your jaw supports your airway, so if it’s not in the right position, it can cause your airway to collapse. But moving your teeth and reshaping your jaw with the Daytime/Nighttime Appliance (DNA) can restore the function of your airway, helping you to breathe and sleep better.
If you are looking to improve your life–and your health–by straightening your teeth or with neuromuscular orthodontics, we can help. Please call (408) 354-5600 today for an appointment with cosmetic dentist Dr. Nancy Nehawandian at Top Down Dental in Los Gatos.