Many individuals believe that straightening teeth is primarily done for esthetic purposes. While aligning teeth can improve the appearance of one’s smile, there are a myriad of additional benefits. Some of these include improved occlusion (biting of teeth), hygiene, and even sleep. Modern orthodontics often use clear aligners to straighten teeth and create a more ideal bite. There are a number of different clear aligner systems. The most popular system is produced by align technologies, Invisalign. While Invisalign has become a household name that many refer to when discussing clear aligners in general (similar to Kleenex and tissues), there are a number of different companies that have created systems that allow individuals and dentists to work with dental laboratories to design cases to treat crooked teeth. While there are many “do it yourself” systems that exist, there are a number of risks that come along with pursuing treatment without the supervision of a dental professional. Straightening teeth unmonitored without an understanding of root and bone structure can result in risky and unpredictable outcomes. While there is potential for negative outcomes, when unmonitored, guided treatment by a dental professional often yields excellent results. Aligning the teeth to a proper occlusion creates ideal spaces between teeth that make it easier to maintain hygiene, and have a more even bite across all teeth. Having an even bite distributes forces across teeth in a way that reduces the likelihood that excessive force might be distributed to individual teeth, which could lead to early failure of those teeth. Often times aligning teeth properly can also create greater support and opening for the oropharynx which can result in less restricted breathing. While resting, obstruction of the airway can lead to a number of issues such as obstructive sleep apnea. If you are considering straightening your teeth, it is best to do it monitored by a dental professional. It will be one of the best investments you make in yourself.