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How to Educate Patients about the Importance of Straight Teeth

Patient education resources on how oral health impacts total health

You already know how important having straight teeth and practicing good oral health are for a person’s overall health. But this isn’t common knowledge for the general public. It may not even be well known among your active patients.

A lot of people view orthodontics as a way to correct the appearance of their smile. Others know that they need to correct their teeth so that they don’t run into health issues down the road.

It’s important to educate your patients that a beautiful smile isn’t just for cosmetic reasons–but that it can impact sleep, bite, jaw, neck, and shoulder pain down the road.

So Why Do You Need Straight Teeth?

  1. Crooked teeth equals bad dental hygiene.
    When your teeth are crooked, they may overlap, which makes it harder to brush and floss them correctly. This allows food to get trapped and leads to plaque build up, which leads to – you guessed it – cavities and many other problems.

“92% of adults 20 to 64 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth.”
– National Institutes of Health

2. A straight smile helps you avoid chipped teeth.
When your teeth are out of line, it’s easier to chip them. This can be expensive and dangerous, not to mention painful.

3. Sleep issues? Check your Teeth.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be caused by misaligned teeth. Not only does sleep apnea cause excessive tiredness, it can also play a part in cardiovascular issues. Unfortunately, few people would think of consulting with an orthodontist to see how they can help.

4. To help alleviate jaw tension.
Misaligned teeth can lead to bad jaw positions which leads to tension. Have you ever felt your teeth grinding in your sleep? Or woken up to a headache from clenching overnight? Or felt like you were carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? An improper bite doesn’t just affect your ability to chew or how your smile looks to the world. It can actually have far more sinister effects…impacting your head and neck, causing headaches, and more.

5. Because everyone deserves a beautiful smile.
Yes, that may not feel as important of a reason as the others, but there is data that shows how having straight teeth improves self-image and confidence. A Nielson survey showed that 92% of adults who had their teeth straightened said that having straighter teeth improved their personal image. Also, 78% noted that it gave them the confidence to do something they never would have done before.

It’s important that when making decisions about their teeth, your patients understand what is at stake.

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