Whether your teeth are slightly askew or seriously crooked, there are many reasons why it can be advantageous to straighten them. One of the primary reasons that individuals want straight teeth is because they want to improve their smile. Most individuals will smile readily and often, especially if they feel confident about their smile. Those individuals who lack confidence in their smile and therefore hide their smile behind closed lips, hands or napkins are often concerned about some imperfection they feel that their smile shows. One such imperfection, and one of the most bothersome to many individuals, is crooked teeth. Unfortunately, few individuals pursue the modern solutions that could resolve this imperfection relatively easily–largely because they are unaware of such solutions and they dread the idea of getting braces and becoming a “metal mouth” for any length of time.
In addition to the aesthetic benefits of straightening your teeth, there are also many potential functional benefits. Depending upon your specific situation, straightening your teeth could improve your bite, which in turn can reduce unnecessary wear on your teeth. Straightening your teeth can also help to improve your oral hygiene, especially where areas of teeth were previously unreachable due to overlapping. Straightening your teeth can sometimes even help in cases of sleep apnea. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to deal with metal braces, though even these have their advantages.
Teeth Straightening Methods
There was a time when the primary way to straighten crooked teeth was through the use of bulky metal braces and embarrassing external headgear. Needless to say, while many individuals may desire the look of straight teeth, no one enjoys obtrusive and cumbersome devices in order to make it so. Fortunately, the procedures by which you can straighten your teeth have evolved significantly over time, and there are several different ways one can straighten their teeth with as little inconvenience as possible. Following are the most common teeth straightening methods:
- Ceramic braces. While metal braces are not really aesthetic, they are incredibly effective at straightening teeth quickly and well. Ceramic braces provide one with an aesthetic alternative to metal braces without losing any of the effectiveness of metal braces. Ceramic braces have clear or tooth-colored brackets, and can even come with tooth-colored wires. However, one needs to be aware that ceramic braces can be more costly than metal braces, and they can also be slightly larger.
- Lingual braces. Lingual refers to anything that is on the tongue side of your teeth, so lingual braces are placed on the inside surfaces of your teeth instead of the outside surfaces like traditional braces. This makes them truly invisible to anyone who is not looking closely inside your mouth. They are customized to follow the contours of the teeth so that they are both comfortable and effective. That said, take a moment to consider the fact that your tongue is constantly in contact with the inside surfaces of your teeth. Lingual braces can take some time to get used to because they will change the sensation caused by this contact and may therefore affect your speech and eating habits. Furthermore, since lingual braces must be individually customized and their placement and adjustment is far more difficult than traditional braces on the outside surfaces of your teeth, they can be one of the most expensive teeth straightening options.
- Clear aligners. Invisalign is one of the most well-known and popular options when it comes to clear aligners. They are virtually invisible when placed in the mouth and can be removed while one is eating or brushing their teeth, which many individuals find highly desirable. However, they are not usually recommended for the correction of more extensive orthodontic situations and failure to keep them in the mouth for a sufficient amount of time can effectively impede their ability to bring about the desired change.
- Metal braces. Still viewed as one of the most effective ways to straighten teeth, metal braces consist of small metal brackets that are glued to individual teeth and then connected together with a thin wire. The wire is adjusted or changed to slowly and steadily move the teeth into the desired position. Today’s metal braces are smaller and more comfortable than they have been in the past, but it’s true that they are still highly visible.
For more information about teeth straightening and which option is best for you, contact us today.