Crooked or misaligned teeth can destroy the self-confidence of even the most rational person. The mouth is one of the first things people notice when we meet them, and everyone craves a traditional Hollywood smile. However, dental realignment is often viewed as expensive and a purely cosmetic procedure.
Neither of the statements is true. Treatment is affordable and not correcting these problems can cause physical problems. Below, we outline your options for straightening teeth along with details of the procedures.
Why Have Your Teeth Straightened?
Straightening your teeth can provide an immediate boost of self-confidence. It can transform the whole shape of your face. For anyone who worries about the outward appearance of their teeth, this can provide instant relief and calm any insecurities.
Straightening your teeth is also much healthier. Gaps in teeth can lead to rubbing and inflamed gums. Teeth that are too crowded are harder to clean and build up plaque much more easily.
As we grow into adulthood, teeth can move position in our mouth. This can lead to a number of problems, including having an impact on our jaw. Moving your teeth can help correct over or underbites, realigning your jaw, making it easier to chew and swallow.
How Is Teeth Straightening Done?
Teeth straightening is conducted by moving your teeth slowly out of position over a long period of time. This is done using a brace or aligner, that pulls the teeth in one direction. The gums grow with them, meaning teeth remain sturdy.
There are also a few options that simply mask the misalignment of teeth which can work in some situations. This can involve the use of bonding or applying tooth veneers.
Your Options for Straightening Teeth
A clear aligner is a plastic guard that fits neatly inside your mouth. It is molded to the shape of your teeth and will realign them over time. They are non-intrusive and can be put in and removed whenever you like. In most instances, they are almost invisible.
The American Association of Orthodontists has given clear aligners their seal of approval, saying that they are just as good as bracers in many cases. They are also one of the cheaper options when considering how to straighten your teeth.
Home Use Clear Aligners
Some clear aligners can even be done without the need to visit a dentist. These are known as home use clear aligners. Your chosen dental company will send a kit to your home that you use to take a mold of your own teeth.
Once you send it to them, they create the product and post the clear aligner back to you. It is a very similar process to the dental clear aligner, but you do not need to visit an orthodontist at their practice. They are just as effective.
Classic metal braces are the most effective way to straighten your teeth. Though they conjure up an image of huge metal contraptions attached to your mouth, it is no longer the case. Classic braces can look quite non-intrusive.
The best option is to speak with your dentist. Though you will get a better result, braces are permanently affixed and there are some foods you will not be able to eat during the course of your treatment.
If the look of traditional braces puts you off, then ceramic braces can be an option. They operate in exactly the same way but use tooth-colored brackets instead of metal ones. This makes your dental treatment less noticeable.
Wires are often an off white color to add to the experience. However, they are much more expensive than traditional braces.
Lingual braces are the most hidden form of corrective dental surgery. They are similar to traditional braces but sit behind the teeth. They are totally invisible to anyone you will interact with.
Lingual braces are one of the more expensive options. As they are placed behind the teeth, they can also irritate and cause discomfort with the tongue. Make sure your orthodontist gives an accurate appraisal before applying them.
Veneers are porcelain covers that are placed over your teeth. They can correct any number of issues and will make your teeth look as close to perfect as possible. They are white and shiny so will give you a startling smile.
Veneers do take preparation, some of which can be more invasive than a brace fitting. The dentist will need to shave enamel from your teeth and depending on how bad they are, it may be a long process. This is irreversible, so you need to be willing to upkeep the veneers forever.
Bonding is one of the cheaper options on the list but is only recommended for minor cosmetic procedures. It involves using a resin material to alter chipped and irregular shaped teeth, or even fill gaps. Treatments are quick and the results will be instant.
Unfortunately, bonding is not the most resilient method and you can expect the resin to wear off in around four years. It is also prone to staining, so smokers, coffee, and wine drinkers should avoid it. Technically, it also does not address the problem of straight teeth but simply makes them look more regular.
Making a Choice
Now that you have the basics, work out which option best fits your budget and lifestyle. Visit an orthodontist and ask for advice. You may have an idea but a professional may think another route may be more beneficial.
Ahava Orthodontics are always on hand to help you and your family with your options for straightening teeth. Our website is filled with advice and we will be happy to make a consultation to discuss your needs. Book an appointment with us today and let us make you smile!