Sometimes, the need to straighten crooked teeth doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, especially if you’ve grown so used to their appearance that you barely notice them anymore. If they don’t seem like much of a problem, then straightening them may not seem like a need at all. However, the truth is that tooth misalignment impacts much more than just your smile’s appearance, and even if you’ve grown used to them, they can affect how your smile looks and your bite functions in increasingly more negative ways.
They’re probably noticeable
The fact that you may have grown used to how your crooked teeth look and feel doesn’t mean they aren’t noticeable to others when you smile. The truth is that the healthy alignment of your teeth is so precise that any deviation can have more visibly noticeable consequences than you realize. However, when the condition is minor, visible tooth misalignment may still seem like no big deal, even adding to the character of your smile in some ways. Unfortunately, ignoring the misalignment could lead to more negative consequences for your oral health.
They’re harder to keep clean and healthy
The appearance of your smile isn’t the most important aspect of your oral health, and it isn’t the only aspect that’s affected by the alignment (or misalignment) of your teeth. Crooked teeth can also create an asymmetrical contour to your smile, causing some teeth to jut up against others or be forced behind or in front of them. This creates spaces where oral bacteria can form plaque and tartar safely out of reach of your toothbrush and floss, which greatly increases your chances of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and more. By straightening them, you can lower this risk and make it easier to keep your teeth consistently clean and healthy.
They’re long-term impacts matter
The long-term impacts of misaligned teeth can become increasingly more severe the longer it takes to correct them. In addition to consequences to your dental hygiene routine, these impacts can also include the overall balance and function of your bite. For example, if your teeth aren’t aligned and can’t meet each other evenly when you bite and chew, the strain of accommodating the difference on either side of your bite can damage your jaw joints and/or muscles. The resulting dysfunction (known as TMJ disorder) can lead to severe forms of discomfort, as well as diminished bite function and greater risks to the health of your teeth.