Straightening Your Teeth: Everything You Need to Know

Is it time for you to straighten your teeth or make an appointment for your child to get their teeth straightened? 

Straightening your teeth is exciting, but it’s a lengthy process. It can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and expensive. That said, it’s a worthwhile expense with results that last a lifetime as long as you work to maintain them. 

If you’ve made the decision to go to the orthodontist office for a consultation, we’re here to give you some pre-visit info. Keep reading to learn all about straightening your teeth. 

It Improves Your Dental Health

Many people are worried about getting expensive orthodontic work because they think that the only reason to get braces is vanity. This isn’t true!

While having straight teeth can improve your self-esteem and the way that people perceive you, it’s also great for your overall oral health. There’s a reason that some forms of dental insurance cover orthodontic work.

When your teeth are too close together or your jaw is out of alignment, you can experience dental problems.

Crowded teeth can result in cavities and even gum disease. Depending on the intensity of your crowding, you may even experience a cracked tooth due to the pressure of teeth pushing up against one another. When a tooth cracks, bacteria can hide in the crevices, the tooth can fall out completely, or it can die

Even if your tooth doesn’t crack, it’s often tough to floss between teeth that are too close together. Your floss and toothbrush can’t get between those tight crevices. This results in cavities and gum disease.

When you have a bite that’s misaligned, you may still experience cracked teeth. When your bite isn’t right, your teeth can crash against each other. You may also have trouble eating hard or fibrous foods. 

You Have Options

Are you worried about the appearance of braces? Do you have visions of headgear and heavy-duty metal brackets and wires?

You don’t have to worry about these things. There are so many options for straightening your teeth now, and even the most traditional method isn’t as obvious as it was in the past. 

While some people will still need headgear or other intense orthodontic treatments, most people get by with standard treatments. Here are a few of the most common orthodontic options. 

Metal Braces

Metal braces are what everyone thinks of when they think of braces. 

When you get metal braces, your orthodontist will affix metal brackets to your teeth. Through those brackets, they’ll put a wire that they’ll use to align your smile. Every few weeks, your orthodontist will adjust the wire.

One of the downfalls of standard metal braces is that they’re often the most uncomfortable option and they can make it hard to eat your favorite foods. It’s also harder to brush with these braces. 

Many adults don’t like the idea of metal braces because they’re not as common amongst adults, meaning that they’ll stand out. Rest assured that more and more adults are seeking out braces, so you don’t have to worry.

Metal braces tend to be the most affordable option, but this isn’t always true. 

“Invisible” Braces

“Invisible” braces are also a great option for anyone looking to straighten their teeth. They’re similar to metal braces, but they blend in better.

These braces still have brackets and a wire, but instead of silver or gold metal, they use tooth-colored material for the brackets. Some orthodontists will also coat the wire in a similar shade, but most of the time you’ll have a thin metal wire. 

While these braces aren’t invisible per se, they aren’t visible from a distance or in photos. 

Invisalign

Invisalign (or clear aligners) is the most popular option for adult orthodontic treatment. 

Invisalign is a series of clear aligners that move your teeth slowly over time by applying pressure. While Invisalign wasn’t always as good as it is now, it’s now capable of fixing most orthodontic problems efficiently. 

People tend to like Invisalign because it’s the least obvious option. Keep in mind that you may still have rubber bands and “attachments” (that look like brackets) during your treatment, making the aligners more visible.

Clear aligners require a certain level of responsibility because you have to remember to keep them in for 20-22 hours per day and brush your teeth after every meal. 

Learn more about metal braces vs Invisalign to help you with your decision.

You Need to Maintain Your Own Results

Many adults who have already gotten braces seek orthodontic treatment as adults. Why is that?

When you’re finished with your braces, you need to wear a retainer. You may be able to get a permanent retainer from your orthodontist, but most people opt for retainers that they wear at night after a brief period of full-time wear.

If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth will shift back into their former positions. 

You Should Always See a Professional 

Many companies have started offering teledentistry orthodontic options, but these aren’t the safest option (especially if you have significant issues). While it’s more affordable to go that route, you won’t have an orthodontist overseeing your treatment.

You may experience tooth damage, gum recession, and more. These things will result in expensive treatment in the future, making that money that you saved worthless.

Is It Time to Start Straightening Your Teeth?

While the process is annoying and lengthy, you won’t regret straightening your teeth. The cost is well worth it considering how it can improve your dental health and your self-esteem at the same time.

Regardless of the method that you choose for your teeth-straightening venture, you’ll have a movie star smile before you know it.

Talk to an orthodontist today to discuss your options!

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By Malik

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