Struggling with jagged, misaligned, or crooked teeth may cause you to feel self-conscious and hesitate to show your smile to the world. Thankfully, your dentist can offer several teeth straightening options, which will help you achieve a smile that you can flash with confidence.
Teeth straightening is a process during which your dentist uses various methods to push your teeth into alignment, creating a straight, even smile. These methods include clear aligners, dental braces, veneers, and restorative dentistry work. When thinking about how to straighten teeth, it’s a good idea to consider all options to find the best method for you.
Traditional Dental Braces
In the past, teeth straightening options were limited to retainers and dental braces. Until recently, dental braces consisted of a metal bracket and wire dental appliance. Brackets were affixed to the teeth, and wires were threaded through the brackets. Each dental visit, your dentist tightened the wires, causing a slight amount of tension which pulled your teeth into alignment. Typically, dental braces work over 16 to 24 months.
Modern orthodontic practices, such as Dentistry on Solent, now opt for ceramic tooth-coloured braces and contemporary metal appliances rather than the older, non-discrete versions.
Clear aligners, also called invisible braces, are an excellent dental tool to help align crooked teeth. They are made by 3D imaging your mouth and creating a fitted tray made of medical-grade plastic that you wear over your teeth for at least 22 hours per day.
If you’re wondering how to straighten teeth with clear aligners, the answer is that these devices use pressure to push your teeth into the correct position over time. Over 10 to 24 months, your dentist will fit you with different size aligners as your teeth shift into place. This ensures that the correct amount of pressure is applied to move your teeth into the desired position.
Clear aligners are fairly easy to care for. They need to be taken out once per day and cleaned to remove bacterial buildup. This includes washing them with mild soap and a soft-bristled brush, then rinsing and drying the device.
Invisalign, one of the most popular clear aligner options, suggests using their specially formulated cleaning solution to ensure that the aligner is cleaned correctly and sterilised each day. The solution contains cleaning crystals that you soak your aligner in for about fifteen to thirty minutes a day.
Clear aligners offer several benefits over dental braces for teeth straightening. These include:
- Convenient impressionless scanning for customised aligner
- Use of CAD/CAM technology that allows you to preview your future smile
- More comfortable and discrete
- Low maintenance cleaning
- Effective teeth straightening method for most patients
Dentistry on Solent uses clear aligners such as Inman Aligners, Invisalign, and ClearCorrect in their orthodontics treatments.
In some situations, you may not be a good candidate for dental braces or clear aligners. This can happen if your teeth are severely misaligned, you are missing teeth, or you only have one or two crooked teeth that can be fixed cosmetically.
Porcelain veneers are used to straighten teeth when only one or two teeth give you a crooked appearance. This option affixes a tooth-coloured cover to the crooked tooth, immediately correcting the misaligned appearance.
If you have issues such as tooth overcrowding, your dentist may recommend tooth extraction as a way to straighten your smile. Removing a tooth can allow your other teeth to shift into place, creating a nice, even smile.
A restorative procedure, such as having a crown, dental implants, or a dental bridge put in, can help if you are missing teeth. These options not only fix the appearance of crooked or missing teeth but also restore function to your smile as well.
A retainer is a fitted dental device that sits in your mouth and holds your teeth in place. Typically a retainer is used after you’ve worn braces or a clear aligner. Retainers are usually only worn at night. Although retainers aren’t used strictly as a straightening device, they keep your teeth from shifting after you’ve spent time and money to straighten your smile.
How Teeth Straightening Aids Dental Health?
While understanding how to straighten teeth is important, it’s just as worthwhile to consider how teeth straightening aids your dental health.
Using a teeth-straightening device can fix many dental issues that affect your teeth’s appearance and function. Straightening your teeth can help:
- Close teeth gaps
- Correct biting problems like under or overbites
- Address issues caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD)
- Shift teeth to alleviate overcrowding
- Aid in clear speech
- Fix aesthetically displeasing crookedness or unevenness.
Visit Your Dentist to Discuss Teeth Straightening Options
If you’ve been wondering how to straighten teeth to fix your uneven smile or whether straightening your teeth can help your biting issues or speech, schedule a visit with Dentistry on Solent.
Dr Rai and the dental team are happy to listen to your concerns and develop a successful teeth straightening plan that works with your dental and financial goals. Call us on (02) 9158 6137 to book your appointment.