You probably aren’t thinking about the science behind smiling when you find yourself flashing a grin, but our smiles actually have a strong psychological link. Multiple studies have shown that having an attractive smile can make you seem more approachable and trustworthy to others, and may even make you appear more successful and confident. Your smile is also the first thing people tend to notice about you, and the feature they most clearly remember. When it comes to putting your best foot forward in public, it’s clear that taking good care of your teeth and gums is important. However, oral hygiene goes beyond the cosmetic, affecting not only your smile but your overall health as well!

Knowing the impact your smile has can inspire you to take better care of your teeth and gums. Even if you haven’t always been as vigilant about your oral health as you should be, there’s no age limit on adopting a better dental hygiene routine. There’s never been a better time to take the first steps toward healthier teeth and gums, something that can positively affect the rest of your body, too. Sawgrass Orthodontics want to help you to get the most out of your smile, so take a look below for more information about the connection between your dental health and your overall health. There’s more to it than you might think!

Going beyond a straight smile

Many people mistakenly assume that orthodontic treatment is strictly cosmetic in nature, straightening teeth to produce a perfect smile with no other benefits. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, orthodontic appliances like braces and clear aligners are functional in nature, offering both aesthetic and health benefits that can last a lifetime when the teeth and gums are properly cared for.

On the other hand, oral issues that are allowed to go untreated can lead to numerous health problems. These can interrupt everyday activities such as chewing, swallowing, nutrition, and even speech. Misaligned teeth and jaws can also increase the risk for tooth decay, TMJ pain, and chronic headaches. Here at Sawgrass Orthodontics, we are proud to offer a variety of orthodontic treatments, from traditional braces to alternatives like Invisalign clear aligners. These treatments can help correct the issues above, among others, resulting in a straighter smile and a mouth that functions to its fullest potential.

Chewing and digestion

Teeth and digestion might not seem like an obvious pair, but chewing is actually the very first step in the digestive process. This crucial element is often ignored when we scarf our food down without chewing it properly, but it’s an important oral habit to cultivate. This is how our bodies convert large pieces of food into smaller particles that are easier to digest, which gives the intestines a chance to absorb nutrients effectively. If food hasn’t been chewed well before swallowing, it won’t digest as well in your stomach, forcing your body to expend extra energy in order to absorb all the nutrients.

Keep plaque and bacteria at bay

Plaque is a sticky film that occurs naturally, containing bacteria that can build up on the teeth and eat away at the enamel. This can lead to cavities that form in between the teeth, which are harder to see and treat because they often go undiscovered until there are noticeable symptoms. Allowing plaque to go unchecked in your mouth can wreak havoc on the health of your gums, eventually leading to gingivitis or even full-blown gum disease if left untreated over a long enough period of time. Symptoms associated with this include inflammation, sensitive and bleeding gums, and loose or lost teeth.

One of the best and easiest things you can do to prevent this is schedule regular check-ups with your dentist, and keep your appointments with our office. Dentists are trained professionals who know what to look for when it comes to things that patients are typically unable to see, like cavities, or the beginning stages of gum disease. By correcting misalignments of the teeth and jaws, experienced orthodontists like Dr. Kristen and Dr. Penny will make it easier to keep your teeth clean and healthy in every nook and cranny. We will work together with your dentist to ensure your smile stays free of bacteria and plaque, even if you are in braces or undergoing other orthodontic treatment.

Cut down on infection and inflammation

Some research has shown a possible association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts have suggested that the mechanism that destroys connective tissue in RA is similar to the mechanism in gum disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. A good oral hygiene routine and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, which will keep inflammation and infection to a minimum. Eating a well-balanced diet can also assist in these efforts!

Most of us know to avoid obvious things like candy and excessively starchy items to keep teeth free of cavities, but there are also many common foods you can eat that will actively improve the health of your teeth and gums. Crunchy vegetables and fruit will trigger the production of saliva, rebalancing the pH in your mouth. When you eat fibrous fruits and vegetables like celery and apples, they massage the gums as you chew. This increases the blood flow and improves your body’s natural gum-protecting defenses.

Give your smile all you’ve got with Sawgrass Orthodontics

You want your smile to be remembered, but for the right reasons, not the wrong ones! Unattractive teeth and bad breath are both caused by tooth decay and gum disease and can have a serious effect on your self-esteem and self-image. When you aren’t proud of your smile, your confidence levels can take a hit, but a healthy mouth free from gingivitis and cavities can contribute to a bigger smile, better health, and even a better quality of life.

Sawgrass Orthodontics can help you achieve a smile that’s not only beautiful but aligned and functional, too. We are proud to provide individualized orthodontic care for every patient we see, and we’re passionate about providing families in our community with a rewarding orthodontic experience. If you’re in DavieWestonPlantationCooper City or the Sunrise areaget in touch with our office today to learn more about how we can improve your oral health!

- Dr. Langford

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