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What Are the Health Benefits of Straight Teeth?

What Are the Health Benefits of Straight Teeth?

Thinking of getting your teeth straightened?

It isn’t surprising that more than 4 million Americans wear braces. Besides a perfect smile, there are various health benefits to having straight teeth.

Meanwhile, crooked teeth can make your gums prone to collecting more harmful bacteria. This, in turn, can make you more susceptible to health complications.

Thus, there’s also no such thing as being “too old” for braces. The American Association of Orthodontists notes that about 1 in 5 patients is over the age of 18.

The desire for straight teeth goes beyond aesthetics. If you want to know why it’s good to invest in orthodontics, read on. Here are the benefits of having straight teeth.

It’s Easier to Clean Straight Teeth

Crowded teeth give harmful bacteria more places to hide in. It’s also easier for food to get stuck in crowded teeth more often. Since it’s harder to clean crowded teeth, food particles can get stuck and form into tartar or plaque.

This encourages cavities to develop since plaque can release acid. Your teeth can start to decay, bringing pain and eventual tooth loss.

Regular brushing and flossing are necessary to prevent tooth decay. Having straight teeth can make it easier to clean and maintain. There will be fewer nooks and crannies that escape proper brushing and flossing.

Reduced Wear and Tear

There’s less wear-and-tear the straighter your teeth are. With straight teeth, the top and bottom teeth fit against each other better.

Crooked teeth don’t align as much. This can cause uneven wearing away of the teeth’s enamel. This will worsen if you have bruxism and grind your teeth at night.

Biting and chewing also generate a lot of pressure. Teeth with proper alignment can handle biting and chewing without potential problems. Those with bite problems can tend to put too much stress on their teeth.

This makes you susceptible to notches, fractures, or abnormal flattening of the bite. Having straight teeth saves you from dental work by preventing worse teeth damage.

Healthier Gums

Since it’s easier to brush and floss straight teeth, you prevent the build-up of plaque. Plaque build-up in crooked teeth can cause inflammation of the gums.

Inflammation is a natural response of the body to illness or injury. It’s meant to help your mouth in eliminating germs. However, too much inflammation can lead to infection of the gums.

This can lead to gingivitis, causing red, bleeding, or swollen gums. Gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a more severe gum disease. When left untreated, this can lead to eventual tooth loss.

Having straight teeth that are easy to clean will keep your gums healthy. It also prevents further health complications.

No More Headaches or Neck Pain

Having straight teeth also reduces excessive strain on your jaw bone and joints. A misaligned bite due to crooked teeth can lead to jaw misalignment. This can then lead to chronic headaches or pain in the neck or face.

Straightening your teeth can avoid this because of a well-aligned bite. This allows the smooth movement of the temporomandibular joints without any unnecessary stress. Fewer headaches and migraines are some of the biggest straight teeth benefits.

Better Speech

Teeth play an important role in your speech, even if you aren’t aware of it. Crowded, gapped, or protruding teeth can impact your speaking patterns.

Braces and aligners may give you an initial lisp yet this is only temporary. Straight teeth can put a permanent end to speech problems caused by misaligned teeth.

Can Improve Digestion

We already mentioned that straight teeth also means a perfect bite. This also makes for easier and better chewing. Proper chewing is important because it’s the start of the food digestion process.

Food that’s been poorly chewed makes your stomach and intestines work harder. In fact, even healthy eaters can suffer from an unhealthy gut when they don’t chew their food right.

Proper chewing helps your digestive organs and can speed up the digestion process. Your body can get more nutrition out of food, and you’ll experience fewer stomach issues.

There’s More Space for Implants

Your dentist might suggest dental implants if you’re missing one or more adult teeth. Implants complete your set of teeth for better chewing and speaking.

Before you can get implants, there must be enough space in your mouth to put them in. Your dentist must then make sure that you have straight teeth first. Straighter teeth will free up space to fit new dental implants.

Increased Confidence

Some people can feel embarrassed about their crooked teeth. Because of the condition of their mouth and teeth, 1 in 4 adults avoids smiling. Meanwhile, 1 in 5 feel anxiety over the same issue.

Improved self-confidence can be a straight teeth benefit. People with straight teeth worry less about their teeth and smile more.

Smiling often and not holding it back to hide your teeth can also improve your mental well-being. A big smile can release endorphins and serotonin, improving your mood.

Some also hesitate on getting braces because of how they’ll look. Yet metal braces aren’t your only option to straighten your teeth. You can opt for Invisalign, which is less noticeable.

Straight Teeth Benefits: Better Overall Health

We’ve already said how crooked teeth can increase tooth decay and gum disease risk. Tooth decay and the bacteria it encourages can develop into mouth sores and tooth loss.

Studies show that this can create oral infections with further complications. This includes serious ailments like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and pneumonia.

Indeed, straight teeth benefit not only your dental health. It contributes to the general well-being of your body.

How Straight Teeth Can Improve Your Health

Having straight teeth is not only a confidence booster.

It makes your life more convenient by making your teeth easier to clean. This, in turn, prevents serious oral diseases that might need more expensive treatment.

If you want to know how to get straight teeth, contact us today and book an appointment!

The Average Cost of Invisalign: A Complete Guide

The Average Cost of Invisalign: A Complete Guide

Your smile is one of the first things people notice. So what do people see when you smile?

If you aren’t flashing a perfect pearly-white smile, don’t fret; you aren’t alone. In fact, very few people are born with perfectly straight teeth, which is why so many turn to Invisalign to fix their smile.

Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional braces, and the treatment isn’t as expensive as you might think. Here, we’ll discuss the process, including the average cost of Invisalign. By the end, you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect from your treatment and how affordable Invisalign is.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Unlike traditional metal braces, getting Invisalign is a more discreet way to correct your smile. Invisalign uses clear aligners like the mouthpieces athletes wear to protect their teeth instead of metal brackets and wires. 

These clear aligners are completely removable, making them much more convenient than braces when it comes to eating and cleaning your teeth. The best part is they are more effective too.

Only a professional orthodontist can say for sure, but Invisalign has proven extremely effective in treating nearly every condition that affects your smile. Crowding teeth happen when there isn’t enough space in the jaw bone. Teeth grow in at odd angles, but Invisalign can correct overcrowding.

Gaps in teeth are common and one of the easiest conditions to treat with Invisalign. Overbites, underbites, and crossbites are all treatable with Invisalign. Talk with an orthodontist to determine if you’re a candidate for Invisalign. 

What Is the Average Cost of Invisalign?

The cost of Invisalign varies from person to person because every smile is different. The average cost is around $5,000, with small corrections costing as little as $2,000 or more difficult corrections as much as $7,000 or more.

There are factors that can raise these costs, such as additional orthodontic work needed before you can begin using Invisalign.

Teeth extraction can be necessary, especially with overcrowding. You may not have the space in your mouth to straighten all of your teeth.

The average cost of a tooth extraction ranges between $1,000 and $1,500 without insurance. If you have insurance, you can expect to pay between $300 and $600, depending on your coverage and deductible.

Severely crooked or twisted teeth might need to be shaped, adding to the Invisalign cost. Shaping teeth can cost as little as $100 per tooth.

In most cases, you’ll need a retainer once the straightening with Invisalign is complete. These retainers cost between $300 and $700.

Some orthodontists offer a lifetime replacement program where you pay around $1,000 upfront and never have to pay to replace your retainer, should you lose it.

Ways to Save on Invisalign

There are ways to save money while still realizing the benefits of Invisalign. You can research the following programs to see which methods work best for you.

Insurance Coverage

Most insurance plans cover Invisalign as part of your orthodontic care. How much is based on the plan you have, so contact your provider for details. 

Flexible Spending Accounts

One strategy you can take advantage of is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). FSAs are pretax withholdings taken from your paycheck every week and set aside in an account to be spent on healthcare expenses not covered by insurance. Many employers offer these as part of their benefits package. 

The benefit here is you aren’t taxed on this money. But you are limited to how much money you can withhold in your FSA account. In 2021 the amount is capped at $2,750

Health Savings Account

Another strategy is using a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA also allows you to withhold money from your paycheck before taxes, like an FSA.

There are differences between them though. One difference is your HSA funds can roll over year to year, while your FSA must be spent. 

Another difference is you can withhold more money than an FSA. Withholding limits in 2021 are $3,600 for individual plans and $7,200 for family plans. You might be required to have a high-deductible insurance plan to qualify for an HSA. 

Payment Plans

Many orthodontists offer payment plans. Often, they are no-interest plans that stretch as long as 24 months.

Your treatment could last up to 24 months, so it’s almost like paying as you go. Talk to your orthodontist to see exactly what terms they offer.

No-Interest Credit Cards

Today, several credit card companies cater to the healthcare industry, offering introductory zero interest credit for healthcare expenses. If your orthodontist doesn’t offer a payment plan of their own, this type of credit card can help. 

You should always research the terms of these credit cards. Unlike true no-interest credit cards, these credit cards usually defer the interest for a set period of time. It could be six months or 1 year.

If you don’t pay off the balance within that time frame, you will be responsible for paying the actual interest rate on the entire balance. You’ll want to be certain you can pay the entire balance off before going with this option.

Personal Loan

Personal loans are an option, as are regular credit cards. However, these should be a last resort because they will cost you more in the long run.

Credit cards and personal loans charge high-interest rates that could drive your overall cost up as much as 25% or more. 

Dental Schools

Do a little research to see if dental schools in the area offer Invisalign. Dental schools will treat patients at a discounted rate. The trade-off is that you’ll have a student treating you. 

This isn’t such a bad idea because a board-certified dentist will oversee your treatment and be there every step of the way to ensure your treatment is done properly.

Government Subsidies

There are government programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or perhaps Medicaid that will pay some or all of your treatment costs. If you or your children are currently receiving government assistance, you may qualify. 

In some cases, if you or your child’s condition is affecting your overall health, the treatments are covered. Benefits differ by state, so check your local programs for more information. Your orthodontist will be able to help you with these and other insurance claims. 

Get Your Invisalign Consultation Today

Now that you have a better idea of the average cost of Invisalign, it’s time to see exactly what your treatment will look like. In the hands of a good orthodontist, Invisalign is a powerful tool that can correct almost any abnormality in your smile.

At Koerich and Case Orthodontics in Charlotte, North Carolina, we have over 40 years of experience in correcting smiles and are experts in Invisalign treatments. Our doctors can diagnose your condition and will create a custom treatment plan to correct your teeth and have you smiling proudly in no time.

You can schedule a consultation online. Or call us at 704-334-7204 and one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.