It can be challenging to smile with crooked teeth, and some people even avoid smiling at all. Fortunately, there is a solution for those who want straight teeth. Teeth straightening is one way to improve their smile and make it easier to feel confident about showing off their grin, especially if they have gaps between their teeth or uneven tooth alignment. If they are thinking of getting teeth straightened, they may wonder what the process entails. Tooth straightening is a technique used to correct misaligned teeth. The goal of the treatment is to move the teeth into their proper position to create a more attractive smile. This involves reshaping the crowns of the teeth, so they appear straighter. This article provides a descriptive guide about teeth straightening by describing the types of teeth misalignment to straighten and teeth straightening options.
Types of Teeth Misalignment to Straighten
There’s a lot of ways in which teeth can become crooked and uneven. From there, it’s only a matter of time before they need to be realigned. Some common poor forms include:
- Crowding - When teeth crowd together, this creates an unappealing appearance. This type of misalignment usually occurs when two front teeth meet. They may also crowd together on both sides of the mouth, creating a gap between them.
- Overbite - Overbite happens when the upper jaw is too far forward over the lower jaw. When this occurs, the top teeth will overlap the bottom teeth. This causes the teeth to look longer than normal.
- Underbite - An underbite is when the lower jaw is too far back relative to the upper jaw. This causes the lower teeth to protrude from the gums and become visible.
- Crossbite - Crossbite is when the upper teeth bite down on the lower teeth. This results in the lower teeth being pushed up and out of the gums.
- Open Bite - Open bite refers to when the upper and lower jaws do not touch each other. This causes the teeth on either side of the open space to stick out from the gum line.
- Spacing Issues - Spacing issues occur when the teeth are spaced apart too much. This means that the distance between the teeth is greater than normal.
- Diastema (Gap) - Diastema is a gap between the teeth. Sometimes diastema appears as a result of spacing issues. Other times, a diastema is caused by teeth coming in crooked.
- Misaligned Jaw Line - A misaligned jaw line is when the teeth don't align properly with the rest of the face. This makes the person's chin appear higher than normal.
- Malocclusion - Malocclusion is when the teeth are crowded together or misaligned. This can cause problems like having spaces between teeth, overlapping teeth, or teeth sticking out.
Teeth Straightening Options
How can people get their teeth straightened? There are several ways to get teeth straightened. Some ideas are obvious and common, while others may not be familiar to folks. Some options include:
- Braces - Braces are often recommended for children and teenagers. These appliances are designed to hold the teeth in place while the bones grow around them. Children typically wear braces until the age of 18. Adults can choose to wear braces after the age of 25. However, adults should only consider braces if they have severe misalignments.
- Wire-based Solutions - Wire-based solutions are another option for teeth straightening. These techniques involve placing metal wires in the teeth to pull them into alignment. This technique has proven to function well for mild misalignments. However, it does require multiple visits to the dentist.
- Laser - Laser treatments are also available. Lasers use light energy to heat the enamel of the tooth. The heat softens the enamel and allows it to be reshaped. Afterwards, the laser is used again to harden the softened area. This process continues until the desired shape is achieved.
- Invisalign - Invisalign applies clear plastic trays which fit over their teeth. These trays are removable, so they can eat and normally drink during treatment. Treatment takes anywhere from two weeks to one year, depending on how severe the case is. Once the final tray is placed, they will need to wear it every day for at least 20 hours per week for about three months. Afterwards, they may need to wear the appliance daily for an additional six months before they are fully corrected.
- Surgery - Surgery is considered a last option since it requires extensive dental work. It's usually reserved for patients who haven't had success with any other methods.
In conclusion, there are many different options to correct teeth straightening. Some people prefer to wait until their adult years to restore their teeth. Others choose to correct their teeth sooner. Consult a dentist concerning which method is best for them.