How Oral Hygiene, Orthodontics, & Your Overall Health Relate

Braces Grand Rapids

A beautiful smile is more than just an aesthetic asset; it’s a reflection of your overall health. While most people understand the importance of oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, fewer realize how treatment from our Grand Rapids, MI, orthodontists comes into play. 

Here’s how investing in your smile can make a positive difference in your overall health. 

The Relationship Between Your Mouth & Body

Your mouth contains a multitude of harmless bacteria, but it also serves as the gateway to your digestive and respiratory systems. Occasionally, bacteria can enter through the mouth and cause disease. It’s no wonder, then, that there may be warning signs present in the mouth that your overall health may be in jeopardy, such as:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Dry mouth

These symptoms are not only tied to oral diseases, but can be indicative of other health conditions as well. For example, individuals with gum disease are 40% more likely to have another health condition than those without it. Moreover, the same excessive bacteria that can cause gum disease can also contribute to other health problems such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Respiratory diseases like pneumonia 

The Impact of Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment goes beyond simply straightening teeth for a more attractive smile; it plays a crucial role in enhancing oral health, which subsequently influences overall body health. Misaligned teeth can create hard-to-reach areas in the mouth where food particles and plaque can accumulate, leading to cavities, gum disease, and other related dental issues. 

By correcting these alignment problems through metal braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign® clear aligners, orthodontic treatment makes it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene, reducing the risk of these common dental ailments. Straighter teeth also mean a more effective bite, which can alleviate stress on the jaw and reduce the risk of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Tips for Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

Sure, the thought of having bacteria in your mouth is enough to make you squirm but the reality is that their presence is normal and healthy. However, too much bacteria can cause inflammation in not just your mouth, but in other parts of your body as well. 

One great way to reduce the level of harmful bacteria in your mouth is to practice good oral hygiene habits. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, using a mouthwash, and seeing your general dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.

As mentioned above, it can be difficult to keep your teeth clean if they’re significantly rotated, crooked, or crowded. Speak with our orthodontists today about the treatment method that works for you so your teeth can become easier to care for in the long term.

Protect Your Health With Easy-to-Clean Teeth

As you can see, proper oral hygiene isn’t just about keeping your mouth healthy. There’s no doubt that there’s a connection between oral health, orthodontics, and overall health. Our orthodontists in Grand Rapids, MI, can straighten your teeth and simplify your cleaning process so you can minimize the risk of oral health problems and other health issues. Call Armbrecht & Wierenga Orthodontics today at (616) 455-4800, or contact us online.

This blog post has been updated.