Teeth straightening: why do it and what are the options?

Do you cringe at having your photo taken or loathe selfies because you have crooked teeth? Have you always dreamed of having a Hollywood smile? Well innovations in dentistry mean there are plenty of pain-free options available to help get you smiling like a star on the red carpet.

Teeth straightening is so much easier than it used to be. You’ll be pleased to hear that train-track metal braces aren’t the only option for straighter teeth. So, if the thought of having a mouth full of metal has been the only thing putting you off, read on to find out about some new brilliant ways to straighter teeth.

First, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why it is a good idea to get your teeth straightened, before checking out the treatment options available.

Two reasons to straighten your teeth

  • Straight teeth make you feel more confident. The number one reason people want straight teeth is for the sake of appearance. Crooked teeth can impact on the amount you smile and can have a negative impact on confidence and mood.

A smile shouldn’t be something you are embarrassed about. Straight teeth will definitely give you the confidence to smile more.

 

  • Straight teeth are healthier. How come? Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss than crooked teeth, meaning a new straight smile has physical health benefits as well as mental and emotional ones. For tips on brushing see here.

 

Trapped food in crooked teeth is much more difficult to remove, which can lead to gum disease and cavities. Crowded teeth often also wear more rapidly than straight teeth.

 

Crooked teeth can also affect jaw alignment, resulting in temporomandibular disorder (known as TMJ). Misaligned teeth can lead to jaw clenching or teeth grinding. This can lead to headaches, earache and neck pain.

Three alternative teeth straightening options to conventional orthodontics (train-track braces)

If you are seeking a way to correct your crooked or misaligned teeth, without resorting to train track braces, here are three treatment options:

 

  • Invisalign Aligners

 

Invisalign are the leading market brand of clear aligners currently being used by millions of people as an alternative to traditional braces to straighten crooked teeth. The aligners are made of smooth clear plastic, making them virtually invisible. The treatment works using a series of plastic aligners to gradually move different teeth in a planned order to achieve straight teeth.

Invisalign aligners are removable, virtually invisible and generally comfortable to wear (although a little discomfort may be felt in the first day or so of each new aligner). The only disadvantage of Invisalign is the fact that the aligners can easily be removed. Commitment to wearing them as directed is essential for success.

You will need to wear the aligner for between 20 and 22 hours each day. The good news is you can remove the aligner when eating or playing sport. One snag is you need to carry a tooth brush with you at all times as you’ll need to clean your teeth after eating and before replacing the aligner.

 

  • Inman Aligners

 

The Inman Aligner is a simple removable appliance usually used to align front teeth. One of the Inman Aligner’s greatest advantages is the speed at which teeth can be aligned. In most cases treatment can be completed in 6 to 18 weeks. The Inman Aligner needs to be worn between 16 and 20 hours per day, and requires checking by your dentist every 2 to 3 weeks.

This straightening treatment aligns crowded or protruding teeth using two opposing spring-loaded aligner bars. For more information on how the Inman Aligner works see here.

Inman Aligners are often used to straighten front teeth prior to further cosmetic work, such as minimal veneers.

 

  • Six Month Smiles

 

Six Months Smiles is a form of short-term orthodontic treatment, designed to reposition teeth in a short space of time. The method uses clear brackets and wires on only a few teeth, which usually need to stay in place for 6 to 8 months.

The main focus of the Six Month Smile treatment is on the cosmetic appearance of your teeth (rather than the position) and generally targets the teeth that show when you smile. The wires used are tooth coloured so are barely visible. This treatment is a perfect option if you aren’t looking for a major alteration to your bite.

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