Teeth Straightening: Your Options Explained

Straight teeth are desirable both from an aesthetic and healthcare perspective. When you’re teeth are correctly aligned they improve self-esteem and allow you to smile freely. Oral health benefits include cleaner teeth and fewer problems with gum disease, as well as less wear and tear on your teeth enamel.

About 60 percent of the population in the U.S needs some form of orthodontic treatment and that includes teeth straightening. It’s very common to see children wearing dental braces. If your teeth are misaligned, is that the only option?

You will be surprised at the range of teeth straightening options available. Public demand has helped improve the science and technology in the industry. In this article, we’re going to talk you through your options and help you get a clear idea of what will suit you.

Traditional Metal Braces

If you notice someone wearing braces then they are most likely wearing traditional metal braces. That’s because it’s a well-trusted and reliable orthodontic method for correcting misaligned teeth. Metal brackets are attached to the teeth and then wired together.

This creates tension on the teeth and over time the pressure moves the teeth into the correct alignment. The process is gradual and can take as long as 18 months or more. Some may feel embarrassed wearing braces and want a more discrete option.

Same Idea Different Material

A more cosmetically appealing approach is to use ceramic instead of metal in the braces. The brackets that attach to the teeth are clear which makes them less obvious; although, they are still visible. This is a very popular option because ceramic braces are as effective as standard metal braces.

The rubber bands that attach the brackets to the wiring are also designed to have a low visual impact. They are either clear or white. The aesthetic advantages of this option come with increased cost, so that is worth keeping in mind as you review your options.

Invisible Braces

A third option that has the lowest visual impact is lingual braces. These are invisible in that the dental brackets attach to the rear of the teeth rather than the front face. The whole setup is completely bespoke.

The brackets and wiring have to be individualized to a greater degree so that everything will fit neatly on the inside of your teeth. Some users report that this method is more uncomfortable than the above options already mentioned. With that discomfort though comes a very discrete method for correcting teeth misalignment. 

Fitting braces like this to the inside of the teeth is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. As such, you will find that this method is more expensive than the preceding options.

Clear Braces

Not quite invisible but certainly discrete is clear braces. These are custom-made using an impression of your teeth. The material is clear and the final product fits closely to your teeth. 

There are lots of options using clear braces. Some you can take the impression yourself at home and send it through the post. Others involve coming into the clinic; it depends on the product and brand.

Given the discrete appeal and the flexibility of this method, it is one of the most popular options available. That said, using this type of method will involve more responsibility on your part.

The alignment of your teeth will be gradual and will require multiple sets of clear braces. You will need an impression of your teeth at several stages as they gently realign. The braces will need to continue to fit very tight to the teeth to be effective.

Orthodontic Headgear

This option is moving in the opposite direction to discrete. It is very visible and sometimes it is a necessary treatment option. This is because the shape and position of the jaw have a major impact on your bite and teeth alignment. 

Braces can only do so much. If correction of the jaw is needed, then this may be the best option. An alternative involves surgery and that can be very expensive. 

Superficial Alignment

This method uses custom veneers made from ceramic or porcelain fitted to the outside of the teeth. This can lead to the best overall cosmetic result. Perfect looking teeth with perfect alignment.

Of course, it doesn’t mean the underlying teeth are realigned in any way. However, their misalignment need not cause a problem as the outer surface of the veneer will be bespoke to the dimensions of the person’s mouth.

This is a great option for those that can afford it. Each veneer is custom-made for the teeth it covers. You can expect to pay upwards of $1000 per tooth. 

The good news is that the results are super fast. You do not have to wait several years like the other methods.

Plus you may only have the veneers fitted to key teeth that are the cause of your problem. When you consider them in this context you can see that for some people they are a great choice.

Get Expert Teeth Straightening

In this article, you’ve read about your options for teeth straightening. As you’ve seen, there are lots of different methods that can be used to correct your teeth. Most of them will lead to progressive improvements over many months if not years. 

As a general rule, the more discrete the treatment method, the more expensive the treatment tends to be. Even so, you don’t have to compromise on the efficacy of treatment. Another personal consideration is the comfort of wearing these different options.

Ultimately you need to talk to an expert who can answer your questions and give you definitive answers as to which options are available to you personally and get the results you want. Get in touch with us for a free consultation.

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