You may be self-conscious about the way your teeth look. Perhaps you have misaligned or crooked teeth that aren’t picture-perfect straight. Fortunately, this is a pretty common concern, and dentistry has come a long way in ensuring that your teeth benefit from both health and aesthetic perspectives. Today, we’ll be exploring how to straighten teeth and how these methods differ from one another.
The phenomenon of misaligned teeth is clinically referred to as malocclusion. The causes can be environmental and genetic, and they may not be severe enough to warrant concern. However, sometimes the misalignment can interfere with daily tasks such as biting, chewing, and speaking. It can also jeopardize your oral health, leaving you more susceptible to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tooth impaction. But sometimes, even if there are no significant health issues, crooked teeth can cause self-esteem issues, and one may find it difficult for their mental wellbeing.
In these cases, particularly early in childhood, your dentist will recommend a treatment plan that straightens your teeth. The goal is to ensure that teeth are in a stable position that allows the patient to continue their daily activities and maintain good oral hygiene.
Though there are many ways to do this, especially with modern orthodontics, braces have remained the most widely used and most effective.
Braces: The Proven Option to Straighten Teeth
Braces are devices that move teeth into their desired positions using constant force and pressure. Over time, this pressure loosens individual teeth and allows new bones to grow to support them. The teeth shift into their new places, usually over several months to years.
They are made of a single archwire that attaches to multiple metal or ceramic brackets on the affected teeth. Braces are, therefore, quite distinctly visible. For this reason, some people may not prefer the aesthetics of braces and may opt for other options, some of which are in the next section.
Exploring Options: Surgery, Aligners, Retainers, and More
If you’ve chosen to get braces, you might need to wear a retainer after your treatment ends. This is because your teeth will try to shift back into their original positions – a retainer prevents this from happening. It “retains” the new position of the teeth and fits according to the shape of your bite.
Instead of braces, though, you might want to get an aligner. These have the benefit of being less visible than braces and are much easier and more comfortable to put on the teeth. For moderate to minor cases of malocclusion, aligners can be effective.
The only alternative to braces and aligners is orthognathic surgery. A surgeon repositions your jaw to align correctly with your bite and may perform any minute corrections. If you’re facing considerable difficulty in daily tasks, your dentist may recommend this to you.
Any other means of straightening your teeth, especially DIY methods involving household objects, are unsafe. It’s improbable that they’ll work, and you risk damaging your teeth and needing costly dental intervention.
Suffice to say, your teeth are strong but ultimately irreplaceable. Modifying or correcting them in any way is best left to the experts.
At Hermosa Dental, we have an expert team that will evaluate the best treatment to straighten your teeth and give you a winning smile. Call either of our Houston, TX locations at (832) 427-1797 or (713) 695-3400 or our Porter, TX location at (281) 747-7004 – we’d love to hear from you.