It comes as no surprise that most people want to have straight teeth, and it’s easy to see why. Not only do straight teeth enhance the smile, but they are also better for your oral health. However, it’s pretty uncommon to find someone with completely straight teeth, and it’s rarer to find someone who never visited a dentist to get them straightened.
Even so, no matter what dental issues you might have, there are a lot of ways to straighten teeth. And while traditional methods are still viable, nowadays, it’s all about convenience, with devices such as Invisalign taking over the world. But what are the procedures that can straighten teeth, and how long will it take until you start seeing any results?
Why Should You Straighten Teeth?
Although having straight teeth might sound like a purely aesthetic choice, there are a variety of health benefits associated with them. For starters, straight teeth harbor fewer bacteria, as they are much easier to clean, lowering the risk of tooth decay and infections.
Additionally, gums have a better time supporting teeth that are not overlapping, reducing the chance of chipping or breaking your teeth. In fact, you can end up relieving the stress you put on your jaw by simply straightening your teeth.
How Can I Straighten Teeth?
When it comes to teeth straightening, there are a few devices and procedures that you can try depending on the type of issue you have. For example, aligners work best for people with mild to moderate teeth spacing issues, while braces can fix most tooth alignment problems.
Braces are devices that put pressure on teeth in order to slowly move them in the desired position. Over time, braces modify the bone in the jaw, allowing both teeth and their roots to move. Even though most people wear braces when they are a kid or teenager, they are also effective for adults.
Generally speaking, braces have a few disadvantages that can be a deal-breaker for some people. Since they are made out of metal, braces are pretty uncomfortable and will hinder speech and eating. In fact, you will have to completely change your diet if you plan on getting braces. That’s because most hard foods can end up stuck in your braces, damaging them.
All in all, braces are a great and reliable way to straighten teeth while also adjusting the entire structure of your jaw. It’s also worth mentioning that braces come in a variety of models, such as clear or lingual braces. These options offer the same functionality but are more appealing and easier to maintain. And if you would like to read more about the procedure, you can always check this source.
If braces are too uncomfortable or if your teeth alignment is not too bad, then you can give aligners a try. The treatment involves custom-made plastic molds, called aligners, that move your teeth into an ideal position. Unlike braces, aligners are more versatile as they are removable, meaning that you can take them off for maintenance purposes.
Another main difference between aligners and braces is the fact that aligners are transparent and hard to notice. That’s why most people use the term invisible braces instead of clear aligners.
When it comes to their effectiveness, aligners work best for people with minor or mild teeth alignment problems. And depending on your problem, a dentist might first recommend braces and then allow you to switch to aligners. But overall, aligners are a great alternative to braces, and with so many high-quality brands such as Invisalign, it’s hard not to find the right aligners for your issue.
Retainers are wires used to keep the teeth aligned after a basement or aligner treatment. However, if your teeth are only slightly crooked, some dentists might recommend you to give retainers a try. In fact, you may even be able to use removable retainers, which you can put on before you go to sleep.
How Long Does It Take to Straighten Teeth?
Depending on your teeth condition and your treatment scheme, the entire process can take quite a while. For example, a treatment using aligners takes anywhere between 10 to 24 months. On the other hand, you might need to wear braces anywhere between 6 months and one year. Additionally, braces require frequent dentist appointments for regular adjustments.
How To Prevent Crooked Teeth?
Even though aligning teeth is much easier and affordable than ever, prevention is better than cure. The following tips are designed to help you avoid crooked teeth and preserve your natural and beautiful smile.
- Fix Missing Teeth: Missing teeth are the number one cause of misalignment, as the gap allows nearby teeth to move in order to fill it. You should talk with your dentist about getting dentures or implants as soon as you lose a tooth.
- Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Without proper oral hygiene, you increase the risk of infection and eventually losing additional teeth. Our advice is to brush your teeth at least twice a day and avoid sugary or acidic foods.
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Regular dentist checks allow you to prevent tooth decay and infections. That’s because a dentist will be able to find any problem before it has the chance to develop into something more dangerous.
- Wear a Mouthguard: If you suffer from bruxism, you should wear a mouthguard when you sleep. That’s because bruxism can push your teeth further apart, creating gaps between them.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, the decision to straighten teeth is all up to you. However, it’s important to remember that straight teeth are more aesthetically pleasing and healthier. And if you are one of the millions of people dealing with crooked or misaligned teeth, you can always use braces or aligners. Just keep in mind that the process of straightening teeth takes some time, so patience is essential.
But all in all, no matter what teeth problems you are dealing with, it’s always important to visit your dentist. Not only will that prevent misalignment problems, but it will also help you discover hidden problems with your teeth. So next time you feel that something is wrong, remember to give your local dentist a call.
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