How often have you looked at photographs of yourself smiling and wished that your teeth were straighter? Maybe you did miss out on orthodontic treatment as a child, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide your smile forever. Braces aren’t just for children and teens – in fact, we’re experiencing a huge rise in adults seeking teeth straightening.
Reasons to straighten your teeth
The most common reason for people wanting to straighten their teeth is so they can smile with confidence, but were you aware that orthodontic treatment offers a whole bunch of other benefits? These include:
- The ability to improve bite
- Improved oral hygiene – straighter teeth are easier to clean
- Correct bite alignment means less wear and tear on teeth
- Conditions such as bruxism and sleep apnea can be helped with straighter teeth
Is it possible to straighten teeth without braces?
Love ’em or hate ’em, metal braces are still one of the most effective methods of straightening teeth and giving you that perfect smile. These days they’re slightly less bulky with smaller brackets, and if you’re an extrovert you can always have your wires coloured!
However, we totally understand that most adults don’t want to reveal a mouth full of metal to friends and work colleagues. If you’re looking to straighten your teeth without braces then one option is to wear a straightening retainer, but the downside to these is that they still show when you laugh, speak, or smile. Another option is clear aligners, such as Invisalign. These offer an extremely discreet solution which is why they’re so popular with adults.
Invisalign – An alternative ‘brace’ solution
If you’re seeking adult teeth straightening options that are discreet, then at the top of the list has to be Invisalign aligners. This innovative teeth straightening system works in the same way as braces to gradually move teeth into their correct position to create a perfectly straight smile. However, it differs from braces in that there are no wires or brackets. Instead, it utilises a series of trays (or aligners), with each tray moving the teeth into a slighter straighter position than the previous tray.
Made from clear plastic, the aligners are worn over the top of the teeth, a bit like a mouthguard, so they’re virtually invisible to others. Because of the lack of wires and braces, they’re more comfortable to wear and don’t irritate the gums.
Invisalign fits conveniently into a busy lifestyle since there are less dental visits required. Aside from the discretion factor, Invisalign helps you maintain a good standard of oral hygiene since you remove the aligners to eat and drink, and for brushing and flossing.
Clear braces can correct a lot of dental problems such as crowded teeth, underbites and overbites, and misalignments, but it does rely on your commitment to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day for best results.
Other teeth straightening options
If Invisalign isn’t for you, alternative teeth straightening solutions may be ceramic braces or lingual braces (which fit inside the teeth). So let’s look at these options in a little more depth.
Ceramic braces are a popular choice for adults looking for a more affordable treatment than Invisalign and a more discreet appearance than metal braces. Ceramic braces are less noticeable than metal braces because the brackets are clear or tooth coloured with the option of tooth coloured wires. They work in exactly the same way as metal braces and complete treatment in the same time.
If you really don’t want anyone to notice that you’re having orthodontic treatment and are looking for ‘invisible teeth straightening’ then say hello to lingual braces. These custom-made braces are attached to the back surfaces of your teeth instead of the front. They’re custom made to follow the exact contours of your mouth, making them as effective and comfortable as possible. In fact, they work in the same way as standard braces – only they’re on the back of your teeth so totally out of view.
The downside of lingual braces is that they can take a while to get used to. Since they’re located close to your tongue they can impact on eating and speech more than other types of braces. Due to their design, they’re also a little more difficult to adjust and cost significantly more than other braces.
How long does teeth straightening take?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on a number of things such as how serious your alignment issue is, the health of your teeth, your age, and the specific type of orthodontic treatment that you’re undergoing. On average, fixed braces take anywhere between 12 and 36 months but removable aligners are usually faster.
What if I can’t wait that long?
Then you might want to consider accelerated orthodontic treatment. This focuses just on correcting the alignment of the teeth that show in your smile line. In some cases treatment may only take several months to deliver effective results. It’s a perfect solution for those with an important day looming, such as a job interview or special date. Or even if you want to able to share a perfect selfie of yourself smiling!
Now you’re informed about various teeth straightening options, it’s down to you to take the first steps to your new smile. Schedule an appointment with Evergreen Dental today and get the ball rolling. Give us a call on (02) 8074 3849.