As many as nine in ten people have teeth that are at least somewhat crooked, maloccluded, or otherwise misaligned. If you’re among that 90%, you may have looked into ways to straighten your smile.
With the benefits of modern orthodontic technology, you have more options to attain straight teeth than ever before. Here are some of the most reliable ways how to straighten your teeth.
Most people who wear retainers have already had their teeth straightened with braces. The device only serves to help keep the teeth from shifting back to their prior position and undoing all that progress. But for adults who only need minor adjustments to their teeth, retainers can make those improvements.
If you only have a couple of teeth that are out of place or are crowding their neighbors, a retainer may correct the problem in as little as a few months to a year. They’re also less noticeable than braces, less uncomfortable, and are removable.
2. Veneers and Dental Bonding
Some tooth defects, while noticeable, are not always worth using braces or a dental appliance to correct. Small gaps in teeth or minor misalignments are good examples. They don’t impact the function of a person’s teeth, but they may find the appearance unsightly.
Veneers and dental bonding are popular options for these cases. Veneers are thin shells of dental porcelain that are placed over the existing teeth. They can cover up minor imperfections like stains and discoloration while giving your teeth a straighter, more uniform appearance.
Dental bonding works via a similar concept. A dentist applies resin to teeth to adjust their appearance. The resin can be sculpted to fill in tooth gaps, reshape entire teeth, or cover up small chips or cracks.
This isn’t teeth straightening in the truest sense. But it can be a great alternative for patients with only minor issues.
3. Clear Aligners
Clear aligners are made from transparent, durable plastic. They’re a discreet way to straighten teeth without braces, as they’re much less visible and intrusive than retainers or other appliances.
Your dentist will take a 3D impression of your teeth and use that to manufacture a set of custom aligners. Every two weeks, you’ll get a new set of aligners that more closely resemble your desired result. Over time, the pressure the aligners exert will push your teeth into the correct position.
For the best results, you need to wear your aligners for up to 22 hours each day. A person might only remove them while eating, drinking, or brushing and flossing their teeth.
4. Traditional Braces
The most reliable way to straighten teeth is to use conventional braces. Though they were once only seen on teens and children, many adults are now having braces applied later in life.
Using braces for teeth straightening entails having an orthodontist apply a metal or ceramic device to each tooth, and then running a length of wire between them. Over the treatment period, the wire is tightened to gradually pull the teeth into the desired position.
Braces enjoy a very high success rate, provided the patient follows their doctor’s instructions.
Learn How to Straighten Your Teeth Your Way
Straight teeth are a physical feature almost everyone desires. But not every method is right for every patient. For the best results, you should consult an orthodontist to learn how to straighten your teeth in a way that will suit your unique needs.
Crooked teeth are only one common dental problem, however. If you want your smile to look your best, browse our blog for more guides like this one.