More and more adults and teenagers are looking for an effective and affordable solution to fixing a smile that has a few crooked or out of place teeth. There are so many different options–which one is right for you? Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, if you’re looking to upgrade your smile, ask the experts at Premier Dental!
How Does Teeth Straightening Work?
Teeth straightening, otherwise known as orthodontics, works over the course of several months or years to realign teeth into an appropriate position. Methods, treatment styles, and cost all vary, depending on the severity of the crooked teeth. Orthodontics has experienced a wave of new technology, and there are a lot of options for people of every age to get the smile they want.
What Are Some Methods to Straighten Teeth?
We’ve come a long way from metal braces being the only option for teeth straightening. While they’re still a very effective way to straighten teeth, we now have a variety of different methods and treatments to realign teeth, including:
- Metal Braces: The classic look we’re all familiar with. These braces are still just as useful as when they debuted, but not everyone is comfortable with how they look.
- Clear or Ceramic Braces: With the same features and function of metal braces, these orthodontics take it up to the next level by offering clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires. Clear and ceramic braces still do the work but are less obvious. Ceramic braces may cost a little more than traditional metal orthodontics.
- Lingual (Inside) Braces: These are truly invisible braces placed on the inside of your teeth instead of the outside. The benefits are exactly the same as traditional, visible metal braces, but because they’re so close to the tongue, speech patterns may be slightly more impaired than traditional braces. Some people may also experience some tongue discomfort.
- Clear Aligners: A virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth, these aligners have become increasingly popular. They are more comfortable and more hygienic than traditional braces. If not used correctly (ie every day), they will not work as effectively, and depending on how many days lapse in between wearing the aligner, the whole treatment plan may have to be started over. Clear teeth aligners are typically used when less severe straightening is required.
Is Teeth Straightening Permanent?
Teeth straightening is permanent–up to a point. After orthodontic treatment is completed, you will be fitted for either a permanent or removable retainer. This retainer will keep your teeth stabilized as they settle into their new positions, and it’s very important that the retainer is allowed to do its job. Without stabilization, your teeth will move back to their original positions, and you’ll have to start all over again! After the retainer process (typically one year) is finished, most teeth straightening will be permanent. Things like TMJ and teeth grinding can move teeth, however, and it’s important to check in with your dentist. An orthodontics specialist can fit you for a corrective device before your teeth shift permanently out of place.
How Long Will It Take?
There is no “normal” amount of time to have braces. Each and every orthodontic treatment is fitted to an individual set of teeth, and depending on the severity of the misalignment, teeth straightening could take from 6 months to 3 years (and beyond). If you’re concerned about how long treatment might take, consult an orthodontist. They can determine what treatment you’ll need, and for how long.