One of the biggest keys to a beautiful and healthy smile is straight teeth. Though often looked at as strictly cosmetic, the benefits of straight teeth go far beyond the dazzle, playing a large role in maintaining good oral health.
Dr. Sasha Bhor in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California, has been providing tooth care, straightening, oral surgery, and a host of other family dental care services at Oasis Smiles for over 15 years. In that time, she has helped countless people get straighter, healthier teeth, and here’s what she’d like you to know about the importance of tooth alignment:
One of the biggest benefits of tooth alignment is a proper bite — how the jaw and teeth should fit together — referred to as occlusion. If the teeth are misaligned, it is known as malocclusion, literally “bad alignment.”
Malocclusion can result from a number of causes and can be divided into many different categories. A few of the most common include:
In this case, the top teeth extend too far over the bottom teeth. A good example is buck teeth, often brought about by thumb sucking at an early age.
Thought of as the opposite of an overbite, an underbite occurs when the bottom teeth extend out beyond the top teeth, which can result from an improper alignment of the jaw.
Tooth crowding can result from a number of causes. The first is when the mouth is too small to hold all the teeth. The second is genetics. The third is from missing teeth, lost either from disease or from injury; teeth nearby the open space start shifting position to fill the space and moving out of alignment with their upper or lower counterparts.
Over time, having any of these issues can cause teeth to become unevenly worn, damaged, or diseased.
Teeth that are not properly aligned are also more difficult to clean and care for at home. This sets up conditions that can lead to both tooth loss and even bone loss in the jaw. A failure to get biannual dental checkups can have the same effects.
Today, there are more options than ever to straighten teeth and correct issues that misalignment may have caused. Dr. Bhor offers Invisalign® as just one option to align teeth discreetly and quickly. Invisalign includes a series of clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each set is slightly tighter than the last, and they move the teeth into the desired position. Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign can be a faster and more discreet option for alignment in some people and eliminates the need for traditional metal braces. Your dentist can tell you which option is right for you.
For more information on tooth alignment and how to get the smile of your dreams, call Dr. Bhor at 858-240-9650 or book an appointment online.