Are you a tad conscious of laughing or even smiling in public? Are your teeth giving you a bad day every time you are digging into a mouthful? Do you often spend hours before the mirror racking why you got that discoloration in your teeth in the first place despite all the daily dental routine? And have you also wondered if you are too old to straighten your crooked teeth?
How To Straighten Teeth At Home?
Well, times are changing and though orthodontics would still recommend tooth straightening as early as the onset of tweens or teens (anywhere between the age 10-14 years is the best time), it’s never too late to get your teeth straightened not only for that beautiful smile but also for them ( your teeth) to function optimally for you. Straightened teeth improve overall oral health.
Apart from cosmetic reasons, you might want to consider why straightened teeth are recommended always:
- Straight teeth get fewer cavities as they are crooked-less.
- They are less likely to have problems with discoloration, uneven wear and fractures.
- Gums are healthier.
- Chewing and biting are better done with straightened teeth.
- Not to mention the endless admiration you get from friends and strangers for that perfect alignment!
Who specializes in tooth straightening?
An orthodontist with a good track record is your go-to person. His skill lies in applying steady pressure on the teeth through a process called ‘orthodontic tooth movement’. The teeth adjust their position accordingly.
The Best Ways to Straighten Crooked Teeth are by using the following Orthodontic Appliances:
- Dental Braces – Are by far the most popular and classic mode of treating crooked teeth. Typically, it takes an orthodontic one and half to two hours to fix it on his patient. The follow-up requires visits to a dental clinic every 6-10 weeks. Braces may be cheap or expensive, visible or invisible basis the type. The metal brackets are the commonest as they are cheap and effective. Ceramic braces are hidden but they are pricier. Lingual braces are the most expensive as they are virtually invisible and cosmetically more appealing. However, they may cause a nagging pain in the tongue with slight lisping while talking.
- Dental Aligners – Orthodontic aligners, also called invisible braces, work by gradually shifting teeth into the ideal position. The aligners are mostly a clear choice over braces because with aligners, you don’t find yourself the center of unwanted attention with people staring at those brackets peeking through your teeth.
To begin with, the orthodontist will take an impression of your teeth and use it to make an aligner tray.
One is given to wear a series of aligners every 2 weeks- this moves the teeth up to 0.3mm per aligner until the ideal alignment is reached. Each aligner makes a smooth and mild teeth rotation, without any gum bleeding or pain. Each aligner one wears will align the tooth in the first 24 hours. Still, experts recommend using them consistently over a 14-day period till one is sure that teeth will not rotate back. Aligners work one step at a time, and the results are amazing. Treatment of crooked teeth through aligners is by far the mildest and most fool-proof.
Aligners work best on mild to moderate teeth damage.
- Teeth Retainers – Whatever the choice you make or your orthodontic recommends – braces or aligners – you will, nonetheless, have to wear teeth retainers to prevent your teeth from relapsing. Braces and aligners move or rotate the teeth, but retainers keep them in place. Experts would recommend lifetime usage of retainers. They may, however, be used only in the night after six months of continual use post teeth straightening procedure.
- Teeth Straightening Surgery – Is a corrective measure and recommended only where the bite problems are severe. The orthodontist takes a call when there is a jaw misalignment or overbites to deal with. One may still have to wear his braces, though for a shorter time. The surgery is performed in hospital settings and not in a regular dental clinic. A maxillofacial or oral surgeon does the surgery with surgical plates, screws and wires. As with any other surgery, a patient needs to be formally admitted in the hospital for a couple of days. He is kept under clinical observation post the surgery and given a lowdown on the dos and don’ts before discharge.
Straight teeth provide you confidence in public and have multiple benefits so now you know it’s never too late to take action to transform your smile into that flawless, dazzling one that leaves just the right impact on your audience.