Table of contents
- How does gum disease start?
- How straight teeth help fight gum disease
- Straight teeth give you reasons to smile
- Benefits of clear aligners for teeth straightening – and cleaning
- Clear aligners are an affordable option
- Can I get clear aligners without a dental visit?
- Straighten your way to better oral health
Most of us understand that we need to take care of our teeth with a good oral health routine. But did you know that if we let it slide and gum disease develops, it can have an impact on our whole body?
According to the Oral Health Foundation, (1) when problems develop in our mouth, they can become a trigger for a whole host of other serious health concerns. These include heart attacks and strokes to diabetes, dementia, and even some types of cancers. Gum disease can even cause one in four pregnant women to be at an increased risk of premature birth (2) or having an infant with low birth weight.
How does gum disease start?
Genetics can make you more susceptible to developing gum disease, but it is usually caused by plaque. Plaque is a form of bacteria, (3) and over time, it can build up in those hard-to-reach places such as in between the teeth.
For this reason, you must brush your teeth at least daily, floss more often than you admit to, and have regular dental check-ups that include scale and cleans.
Mouthwash can also help prevent tooth decay but does not replace brushing or flossing. It’s best not to use it straight after brushing, as it can rinse away the fluoride and other beneficial additives in your toothpaste. It can, however, be good to use throughout the day, such as after lunch when you may want to freshen your breath and rinse your mouth without the need for brushing or flossing your teeth.
If you’re not sure how to brush effectively, floss comfortably, or when to use mouthwash, have a chat with your dentist next time you’re having a check-up. And if you don’t remember the last time you visited the dentist, it’s time for you to book your next appointment!
How straight teeth help fight gum disease
Wanting straighter teeth is often associated with aesthetics, but did you know that a straight smile can also help you maintain good oral health?
When teeth aren’t in perfect alignment, it is increasingly difficult to maintain good oral health care at home. It becomes a challenge to clean in between teeth or along the gums effectively.
Understandably, many adults don’t want to be seen sporting traditional braces. So discretion is one of the main reasons people opt for clear aligner style teeth straightening over metal ‘bracket and wire’ style braces.
Straight teeth give you reasons to smile
If your teeth are making it hard for you to feel good about yourself, it may have a more significant impact on your health than just a higher risk of gum disease. The link between mental health and physical health (4) can’t be ignored either.
It’s thought that people suffering from poor physical health will often also have a mental health condition like anxiety or depression, and vice versa. Clearly, that isn’t something to smile about.
Advancements in dental treatments like clear aligners mean that teeth straightening – which boosts oral health and self-confidence – is now more accessible and popular than ever before.
Benefits of clear aligners for teeth straightening – and cleaning
Wearing traditional braces involves attaching metal or tooth-coloured ceramic brackets to the tooth’s surface, which remain permanently fixed for the duration of your treatment. Typically, treatment takes 18 months-2 years, and during that time, braces become part of your mouth. So you will need to get used to wearing them.
While the long-term goal of having straight teeth for improved oral health outweigh many of the short-term negatives, traditional braces can be restrictive.
Clear aligners, on the other hand, are made from state-of-the-art, medical-grade plastic that are custom-designed to fit over your teeth. The main difference is that unlike metal braces, the individual can remove their aligners for eating and brushing their teeth. Not only does this mean there are no food restrictions but it’s also easier to maintain good oral health with effective brushing and flossing.
Clear aligners are an affordable option
Even though the benefits speak for themselves, the cost can become a factor in discreet orthodontic solutions.
Now that direct-to-consumer clear aligners are available in the UK, teeth straightening at home using clear aligners is more affordable than ever.
The main advantages include the fact that there are no ongoing dental visits. The overall cost of having the clear aligners is roughly one-quarter of what braces or clear aligners would cost from an orthodontist. Moreover, there are payment plans available.
Can I get clear aligners without a dental visit?
Yes! While it is recommended you continue to see your dentist for check-ups regularly, it is possible to get the smile you want and straighter healthy teeth without ever leaving your home.
While you’ll often visit your orthodontist every 4-6 weeks with traditional braces or an in-practice clear aligner option, your entire Straight My Teeth journey can be carried out remotely if you decide to take this option.
Straighten your way to better oral health
If you’re ready to see if clear aligners are a good match for you, complete the 30-second online assessment to get started today.
The importance of a healthy smile. (2017, December 15). Oral Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/healthysmile
Gum disease may cause premature labour. (2019). BDJ Team, 6(3), 4. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41407-019-0027-4
How to keep your teeth clean. (2018, October 3). Nhs.Uk. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-keep-your-teeth-clean/
The relationship between physical and mental health: A mediation analysis. (2017, December 1). ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953617306639
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Kishor Kumar Pradhan