Video: How Your Smile Affects Your Entire Body

What do your teeth have to do with pilates? How about tennis? Even bowling? You may be surprised to learn that the position of your bite can make a major impact on athletic performance, not to mention your overall strength, flexibility and comfort on a daily basis.

Featured NewBeauty cosmetic dentist Dr. Joe Willardsen recently visited NewBeauty's Boca Raton offices and showed us some of the secrets behind neuromuscular dentistry, which is part of his practice, True Dentistry, in Las Vegas. In the video to the left, Dr. Willardsen performs what seem like magic tricks on Special Projects Editor Erica Pearlman, but in fact, these "tricks" are simple yet impressive examples of the impact a proper bite can have on your entire body.

This is why Dr. Willardsen and other cosmetic dentists with neuromuscular training don't address only aesthetics when a patient wants to improve his or her smile's appearance.

"Crooked, broken and worn-out teeth may be a symptom of a misaligned jaw," Dr. Willardsen explains. "Our job is to create the optimal bite before proceeding with cosmetic work." (You can read more about the process in Dr. Willardsen's NewBeauty profile.)

Not in the market for cosmetic dentistry? Like many professional athletes, you can still discover the advantages of a this burgeoning methodology. Mouth guards, like those by Under Armour, are now being made to go beyond basic protection to help lessen clenching stress, improve airflow, and decrease cortisol production, which results in improved performance and less fatigue. An appropriately trained dentist can customize one for your own use.

Do you think your athleticism or even your daily life could be enhanced by improving your bite? Does cosmetic dentistry with a neuromusclar approach appeal to you? Leave your opinion or questions in a comment below.