Teeth Straightening Options

Teeth straightening is a safe and effective way to correct crooked teeth. However, it is important to understand the different methods available before attempting to straighten your teeth at home without an orthodontist’s supervision.

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Misaligned teeth can affect your self-esteem and make eating, chewing and speaking difficult. Fortunately, there are several solutions that can fix this problem, such as braces.

Metal braces

Traditional metal braces are what most people think of when they hear the term “braces.” This orthodontic treatment consists of brackets that are affixed to each tooth and connected with wires. The wires apply a constant, yet gentle force to help straighten your teeth.

Typically, the metal wires in braces are made from stainless steel. This material is chosen for its ability to offer a balance of flexibility as it moves the teeth, and strength to do so. In addition, stainless steel does not corrode easily. Other metals, like iron, will corrode and stain the teeth or gum tissue over time.

Besides offering an improved cosmetic appearance, straightening your teeth can reduce headaches, speech impediments and even prevent bone erosion. In addition, when teeth are properly aligned, it becomes easier to brush and floss them, which will lead to better oral health. Furthermore, straightened teeth can improve your breathing and help to relieve snoring and sleep apnea. Generally, patients can begin treatments for teeth alignment at any age, but it is best to do so while the mouth is still growing.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are a popular option for adult patients looking to straighten their teeth discreetly. They are colored to match a patient’s teeth and the wire is lighter than traditional metal braces, making them less noticeable. They can also be used on patients who need to wear braces for longer periods of time due to their career or lifestyle.

While they offer a more discrete treatment option than traditional braces, they do come with some drawbacks. Ceramic brackets are more difficult to clean and can stain easily if not properly cared for. This is especially true if patients consume foods or beverages that can stain like red wine, marinara sauce, coffee, and certain fruits. Additionally, ceramic braces are more fragile and may break more frequently than metal braces. This can lead to a longer treatment time as patients must visit the orthodontist more often for repairs and adjustments.

Despite these drawbacks, ceramic braces can still treat the same issues as traditional braces and invisible aligners. These include overbites, underbites, crooked teeth, protruding teeth, misaligned jaw growth, and other bite complications.

Invisalign®

Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible and removable. This means you can straighten your teeth without changing your appearance or eating the foods you love. You’ll simply replace your aligners with a new set every two weeks until you get the results you want. Invisalign treatment usually lasts 12 to 18 months, and you’ll begin seeing results a few months into the process.

Besides providing you with a more aesthetically pleasing smile, Invisalign can help protect the long-term health of your teeth. Crooked teeth are more difficult to clean and may lead to plaque buildup, which can eventually lead to gum disease or tooth loss. Using Invisalign clear aligners can help you avoid these issues by maintaining proper oral hygiene during treatment.

You can choose to get Invisalign from your dentist or an orthodontic practice that offers this service. However, you can also buy Invisalign directly from a dental school or an online retailer, which may save you money. However, you should know that these products don’t come with the same professional monitoring that you’d receive from a dental office.

Porcelain veneers

Veneers are a good choice for patients who want to straighten their smile but don’t have the time or patience to undergo orthodontic treatment. They are wafer-thin shells that a cosmetic dentist can custom fit to the front of teeth to hide crooked, gapped or misaligned teeth.

The veneers can be made of porcelain or resin composite and come in a range of shades to suit any smile. The main advantage of porcelain is that it is more stain resistant and long-lasting than the resin type.

Porcelain veneers can counterbalance teeth that are crowded, overlap or sit at odd angles to one another and can close gaps, lengthen teeth that have become short from wear and fill black triangles between teeth caused by gum recession. They also provide a uniform color and shape to the teeth and improve bite function, which can relieve jaw or joint discomfort.

Many patients are hesitant to consider veneers because they are expensive, but with proper care they can last upward of 15 years. Many credit facilities are available to make this procedure more affordable.

Lumineers

Lumineers are thin porcelain veneers that can be placed on the front of your teeth to help improve the appearance of your smile. They are thin, durable, and easy to maintain. They can be used to correct a variety of cosmetic dental issues including chips, cracks, stains, and gaps. They can also be used to improve the appearance of old crowns or bridgework. Unlike traditional veneers, Lumineers do not require any discomfort or extensive tooth preparation before placement.

The Lumineer process is very fast and simple. It takes around two visits to the dentist. The first visit will involve x-rays and bite impressions. The second visit will be when the Lumineers are applied to your teeth. The dentist will clean your teeth and then etch them, which allows the bonding agent to adhere easily.

Lumineers can whiten your teeth and make them look younger and healthier. They can also fix problems like stains and discoloration that do not respond to conventional teeth whitening. They are durable and will last for decades. However, they are susceptible to staining just like natural teeth so patients should avoid foods and beverages that can stain them.