- Can aligners enhance oral health?
- How can Clear Aligners help?
- Can orthodontic aligners cause any issues?
- Other Methods to Improve Oral Health
- Final Thoughts
There is so much more to gain from orthodontics than just an aesthetically beautiful smile (though that’s a nice perk!). Many people consider teeth straightening to be a purely cosmetic procedure, but there are numerous health benefits associated with orthodontic treatment. The position of teeth in the jaw can have a significant effect on our dental health as a whole.
This article will discuss the ways in which clear aligner therapy can improve oral health. We hope that by the end of this article, you have a better grasp of the numerous advantages that an aligned smile may offer, as well as an idea of whether or not clear aligners are right for you and your unique smile.
Can Aligners Enhance Oral Health
Our mouths are miniature ecosystems that have a fragile equilibrium. When a portion of an ecosystem is altered, the entire ecosystem is affected. With clear aligner therapy, these alterations can be positive.
If your dentist or orthodontist determines that you are a good candidate for clear aligner therapy, then clear aligners will likely enhance your oral health.
Let’s explore why this is the case.
How Can Clear Aligners Help?
Clear aligners align your bite and straighten your teeth. So how do these beneficial improvements effect your dental health as a whole?
The decision to straighten crooked teeth is not merely a cosmetic one; it can also enhance oral hygiene. Even the most diligent brushes and flosses may not be able to remove bacteria from crooked teeth, despite their best efforts. Although bacteria are the cause of the majority of dental issues, there are also beneficial bacteria that aid the body.
When harmful germs are allowed to proliferate, they can cause cavities, gum recession, and even tooth loss. Both clear aligners and braces can help you avoid these issues by straightening your teeth and making cleaning easier. However, clear aligners make maintaining proper oral hygiene during treatment much simpler than braces. You will no longer be required to floss and brush around bulky brackets and wires; you will just remove your aligners.
Gingival Inflammation and Periodontal Disease
As previously said, straight teeth are easier to maintain than crooked ones. If plaque remains on the teeth for too long, it can harden into tartar, which is difficult to remove (a dental hygienist will be required for a deep cleaning).
Tartar can cause some severe complications. If it remains near the gum line for an extended period of time, it might irritate the gum tissue surrounding the tooth (called gingiva). Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gingiva that presents as swollen, readily bleeding gums. Even while gingivitis is extremely prevalent, if left untreated, it can progress to periodontal (gum) disease, which has considerably more serious consequences, such as gum recession and tooth loss.
Straightening your teeth with clear aligners will make them easier to clean. Since germs will have fewer places to hide, this could prevent future issues of a greater magnitude.
Your gums are fragile; several habits can cause them to recede, and once they do, they do not regrow. The good news is that clear aligner treatment sets you up for success with your gum health by addressing a number of the factors that contribute to gum recession.
The uneven wear and abrasion that can result from a misaligned bite is a significant cause of gum recession.
When your bite is properly aligned, all of your teeth cooperate when you chew. This is not the case when your bite is misaligned, which can place a great deal of strain on a few crucial teeth. This overuse and strain can promote gum recession.
Clear aligners realign your bite, potentially preventing a few strained teeth from triggering gum recession.
Bruxism (chronic teeth grinding and/or clenching) can be performed deliberately or unintentionally. When you grind your teeth during your sleep (sleep bruxism), you may not even be aware of it. This continual wear can wreak havoc on your teeth, causing enamel to wear away prematurely or gums to recede, both of which can lead to invasive (and costly) surgeries in the future.
A dentist or orthodontist will frequently suggest a night guard to treat bruxism. This piece of tough plastic is worn overnight to prevent teeth from grinding against one another. It produces a cushion-like barrier that provides much-needed relief to the muscles and jaw. Moreover, clear aligners and post-treatment retainers can offer this type of relief.
When you undergo treatment with clear aligners, you will wear them for 22 hours each day, leaving little time for teeth grinding. After completing treatment with clear aligners, you will be required to wear an overnight retainer indefinitely to keep your teeth in their new placements. Both aligners and retainers are capable of providing relief from bruxism. This may not occur immediately, which is also the case with night guards, but you should observe results over time.
In the short and long term, addressing bruxism can improve dental health by decreasing pain and discomfort and preventing the need for costly operations in the future.
Temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) is the connection between the jaw and the skull. This joint allows our mouths to open and close, so be sure to praise your TMJ at your next meal for its hard work.
TMJ refers to the joint, but it has also become an abbreviation for problems of that joint, which are properly known as TMD (temporomandibular disorder).
Even though TMD is technically the correct term for discomfort in that joint, both are recognized in the medical world. TMJ/TMD can be caused by multiple circumstances. In cases of TMJ/TMD caused by bruxism or misalignment, clear aligners may be able to be of assistance. A misaligned bite can place excessive pressure on particular parts of the jaw, which may lead to TMJ/TMD. TMJ/TMD can also be caused by the stress of bruxism, which clear aligners have been shown to be able to manage.
Can Clear Aligners Contribute to Oral Health Issues?
There is no actual data to suggest that clear aligners pose any dental health risks. This is only the case if the patient follows the proper care and hygiene instructions. If you never clean your aligner trays, you will likely experience dental issues.
In addition to giving you a beautiful smile, clear aligners can enhance your dental health and prevent invasive procedures and costly issues in the future. Also, clear aligners make it easy to keep your teeth clean.
If you’ve been wishing to straighten your teeth and dental health has been on your mind, clear aligners may be the solution you’ve been looking for to get a healthy smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a chipped tooth be repaired?
Both tooth damage and loss of gum tissue are irreversible. Therefore, it is essential to visit the dentist frequently so that any issues can be handled promptly.
Is straightening my teeth just an aesthetic decision?
Contrary to common opinion, the purpose of orthodontic therapy is not always purely aesthetic. Teeth that are not properly aligned can lead to major dental difficulties, including enamel deterioration, gum recession, and eventual tooth loss. A beautiful smile resulting from well-aligned teeth is an added benefit of good oral hygiene.
What one item might I change immediately that would have the largest effect on my oral health?
Reducing or eliminating sugary drinks and foods from the diet. The dangerous bacteria in your mouth will like extra sugars more than you may realize. They are the best predictor of dental decay, more than regular brushing and flossing.