You probably already know that good posture is important. Whether you’re trying to prevent back pain or make a good first impression, the straightness of your spine makes a big difference. However, did you know that recent studies show that your posture can influence how your jaws come together and the alignment of your bite? Unfortunately, in the era of texting and comfortable couches, slouching is a widespread problem in today’s society! Read on as we explain how your posture and bite are connected, and what you can do to improve both!
The Connection Between Posture & Bite Alignment
Have you ever gotten an injury to one part of your body that caused another part to hurt? For instance, spraining your ankle could lead to knee or hip pain over time, or holding your arm in a certain position for too long can cause soreness in your back or neck. The body is a complex system that is very intertwined. Your spine can influence your bite alignment in the same way!
Sitting slouched over a book, your phone, or while watching tv pushes your head forward, which in turn pushes your lower jaw farther out as well. The more often this happens, the more your jaw joints adjust to the new position, which can change how your bite comes together.
The Effects of Bad Posture & A Misaligned Bite
While you may not notice it right away, bad posture and the resulting change in your bite alignment can cascade into a variety of different problems, like:
- Chipped or cracked teeth: When your jaws are out of alignment, your teeth become exposed to excess wear and tear. Over time, the enamel wears down, leaving your teeth vulnerable to cavities, discoloration, sensitivity, chips, and cracks.
- Delayed orthodontic treatment: If you’re currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, slouching can get in the way of your results and lengthen how long your treatment will take. If you’re not planning on getting orthodontic treatment, you may need it after years of slouching!
- Jaw stiffness and TMJ dysfunction: Bad posture puts extra stress on your jaw joints, which can become strained and worn. You may develop soreness or stiffness in your jaw, or in severe cases, you may develop TMJ dysfunction, which could require surgery to fix.
Tips for Improving Your Posture
Improving your posture will benefit many areas of your life, including your smile! In addition to being mindful of how you’re sitting or standing, try these quick exercises:
- Take a few deep breaths, making sure to fully expand your lungs
- Tighten your stomach muscles to support your core and relive back pressure
- Raise your chest and roll your shoulders back and down
Your posture is just one of many different factors that can influence your bite alignment. However, when you make it a habit to stand and sit up straight, your whole body will thank you!
About the Practice
Our team here at Simply Orthodontics Rutland is dedicated to helping the families of Rutland improve their quality of life through their smile. We offer a wide variety of orthodontic treatments to help you overcome practically any issue, including bite problems. What’s more, our friendly and experienced team will be with you every step of the way to make sure your treatment goes as smoothly as possible. To learn more, we can be contacted via our website or at (508) 471-5556.