If you want to know more about how to straighten teeth, you’ll be pleased to know that by today’s standards, you have more choice than ever before. While traditional metal braces used to be the go-to orthodontic treatment a few decades ago, modern orthodontics has evolved to the point where treatment is discrete and unobtrusive, especially if you are an adult patient who wants smile correction. Let’s take a look at what your options for teeth straightening could be.
The Importance Of Teeth Straightening
We all want our teeth to last a lifetime, and dental decay is the biggest contributor to tooth loss. Crooked teeth are more susceptible to dental decay because they are more difficult to clean and even though the thought of wearing orthodontics may not be that appealing when you first consider it, the long term benefits are unmistakable.
Teeth that do not straight tend to go through more wear and tear because they scrape against one another incorrectly. A misaligned bite or crooked teeth also cause pain, discomfort and problems between the jaws over time. People who do not have straight teeth are also more likely to clench their jaws and grind their teeth together, which causes damage to the teeth and which can cause long term gum problems.
How To Straighten Teeth With The Latest Orthodontic Treatments?
Clear aligners have revolutionised teeth straightening. They offer you a discrete and comfortable way to correct crooked teeth within the same timeframe you can expect from metal braces. Aligners are fitted to the front of your teeth and are made from a special type of plastic, which applies a gentle force to move your teeth into the correct positions for a straighter smile.
Clear aligners require a certain degree of maturity because they must be removed for eating and drinking – but, at the same time, still, need to be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day in order to do their job of straightening your smile.
They are a firm favourite among patients because they do not need to be adjusted by your dentist. Instead, you are given a few sets of aligners, with each set plotting the positions your teeth need to shift into every two weeks.
So, instead of visiting your dentist for adjustments, you will simply swap them out for a new set.
Lingual braces are essentially the same orthodontic appliance as traditional metal braces, however, they are fitted to the underside of your teeth. This makes them ideal for moderate to major straightening but it also makes them less comfortable than clear aligners, and they do require a longer period of adjustment.
Patients find that they can affect their speech a bit more and are less comfortable, especially against the tongue. However, they are still a very discrete and popular choice among adult patients. Because of their position at the back of the teeth they can be more difficult to keep clean and, unlike clear aligners, still require regular visits to your dentist for the requisite adjustments.
Ceramic braces are very similar to metal braces, with the major exception being that they make use of tooth-coloured brackets and wires. They are like traditional orthodontics in virtually every other way and can take some getting used to. They will need to be adjusted on a regular basis by your dentist and are considered less comfortable than aligners.
You can expect a straighter smile in the same timeframe as if you were wearing metal braces and the same results.
The Importance Of Wearing Your Retainer
Most orthodontic treatment plans take 18 to 24 months to straighten crooked teeth, however, once your braces are removed it is not quite the end of your treatment plan. Your dentist will probably give you a retainer to wear for a certain number of hours a day or while you sleep. And, while you might be overjoyed at the prospect of having your braces removed, it’s really important that you wear your retainer as instructed by your dentist.
If you don’t do this there is a great possibility that your teeth will slip back into their former positions and undo all your efforts at teeth straightening.
While there are a number of ways to straighten your smile, how to straighten teeth depends on your personal circumstances and the amount of correction you need. If you have questions about your orthodontic treatment it’s best to consult with a professional. Please contact us for an appointment: (03) 8737 9359.