New research shows that people with straight teeth are less prone to periodontal (gum and bone) disease. A lot of research shows that periodontal disease increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and premature babies by up to 700 per cent.
Put two and two together and you’ll see that straighter teeth can help save your life or your baby’s life. The reason for this is that straight teeth retain less bacteria and plaque, are easier to clean and people are more prone to clean their teeth better if they are “proud” of their smile. The last point is not to be underestimated. The positive psychological, social and health impacts of a great smile and a healthy mouth are major factors for a better lifestyle.
Another major life-threatening problem, that is endemic in Western societies, is sleep apnoea (interrupted breathing during sleep), many times noted as just as serious snoring. This directly increases a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and even early death. One such treatment involves being hooked up to an oxygen pump (CPAP machine) every night at bedtime. However, too many people are not diagnosed or treated. Not very pleasant or sexy!
The most common type of sleep apnoea is called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). This is where the upper airway is obstructed during sleep. The most common cause for that is a narrow upper jaw, large tongue and improper breathing starting in childhood. That is what we can and should fix. I always recommend fixing the cause and not the symptoms.
This is where straight teeth come into the picture. The only reason people have crooked teeth is that they have narrow jaws that don’t allow the teeth to fit; it is almost never that their teeth are too big. Conventional dentists and orthodontists advise people to wait until their child is in their teens to have teeth out, braces and straighten their teeth. However, this is incorrect, as the jaws become even smaller into their teens and the person ends up with a narrow mid-face and a smaller airway.
The jaw must be expanded at a young age, and breathing, swallowing and talking habits improved early. The teeth will naturally be straighter, but more importantly the person will look better and feel better, with reduced risks for periodontal disease and OSA (potentially saving their lives). It is not too late to have this treatment as an adult or a teenager; it just takes longer than if started during childhood.
Invisalign, expansion plates, Myofunctional trainers and even normal braces are all options that need to be combined or used singularly for your benefit. Look for a properly trained dentist or orthodontist that understands the functional, health and full-face aesthetic impact of orthodontics, not just “straight teeth” at the expense of everything else in your life.
For more information go to the Laser LifeCare website.