Because it is the most immediately noticeable, the cosmetic effect of Invisalign often takes center-stage when discussing treatment. Straight teeth certainly do increase self-esteem and improve a smile’s aesthetic, but more importantly, orthodontia is a key step in dental and oral health. Achieving and maintaining a healthy bite creates a foundation for a healthy mouth.
Bite Health and Orthodontics
What is Bite Health?
The term ‘bite health’ refers to the overall health of a patient’s bite, rather than assessing the health of individual teeth. Because our mouths and teeth function as a whole, we need to look at the functionality and health of our bite as a whole.
Our teeth have evolved to be arranged in a particular way. In a healthy mouth, the way our top and bottom teeth fit together (called ‘occlusion’) distributes pressure between teeth, so that no tooth undergoes undue pressure. When one tooth shifts, rotates, or otherwise moves out of position, that balance is disturbed. This can cause snoring, jaw problems such as TMJ/TMD, gum recession and a decline in gum health, and extreme wear on certain teeth. Over time, this results in cracks and cavities. Aligning teeth to their ideal position prevents these problems over time. In addition, properly aligning teeth makes them easier to floss and clean, minimizing chance for bacteria buildup and cavities.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign uses specially formulated plastic liners to gradually shift teeth to their ideal positions over time. Most cases take a little under a year, and almost all teens and adults are eligible for Invisalign.