Misaligned teeth, or malocclusion, are a condition that affects a lot of people. It can vary in degree and presentation, but the most common sign is teeth not sitting in a straight line or being crowded. Malocclusion can affect your oral health as well as your face shape as it also affects how your jaw grows and sits. Most people have some malocclusion, and there are a lot of straightening options ranging from those geared towards people with a slight misalignment to those suffering from serious malocclusion. This article is an overview of the most common teeth straightening options available.
Although they are losing their popularity to some other options we will explore below, metal braces remain a popular teeth straightening option for a lot of people. They are also the most recognizable orthodontic treatment and are very effective in cases of varying severity.
Metal braces are made up of an archwire, metal braces, and rubber bands. The metal braces are attached to the teeth and then the wire is attached to the braces. The rubber bands are used to keep everything in place.
The wire applies a pulling and pushing pressure to realign the teeth. Gradual adjustments are required as the wire gradually pulls or pushes the teeth into position. Although they are very effective, relatively cheap, and have a reasonable treatment period (18-36 months), many people do not like their aesthetics and therefore opt for other teeth alignment options.
Clear or invisible aligners have become very popular for two main reasons; they are very effective at treating most malocclusion issues and are aesthetically pleasing. They are braces made out of clear plastic which is custom-fitted. The most common path for treatment is wearing one set for a couple of weeks and then switching to a new set. Changing the aligners like this allows them to gradually shift the teeth until they are in position. Clear aligners can be used to treat overbites and underbites, crooked teeth, open bites, gap teeth, and crossbites.
In-office aligners are usually installed at the orthodontist’s office. The orthodontist takes an impression of your teeth and creates a custom treatment plan for you. With this option, you go in every four to six weeks for a check-up.
The next option is at-home aligners. Some companies like ALIGNERCO work directly with consumers to create custom braces. They send impressions kits that the patient uses to capture the state of their teeth. They then send the kits back to have their custom aligners made. Once they develop a custom teeth straightening plan, the experts monitor the whole process virtually and you receive your new sets in the mail.
There are other clear aligner teeth straightening options such as night aligners that are worn only at night. Their main benefit is that you wear them for fewer hours than other clear aligners that you have to wear for up to 23 hours a day. ALIGNERCO provides both at-home and night-only teeth straightening options so you can pick one that works best for you. They work closely with you to monitor your progress and ensure you are getting the results you want. They also have easy installment payment plans for all their clear aligner options.
These braces work similarly to metal braces, with the key difference being that the braces are made out of clear ceramic instead of metal. Ceramic braces are therefore less obvious than metal braces although they are still noticeable. To make them even more inconspicuous, orthodontists use white or clear rubber bands. Treatment usually lasts 18-36 months and these braces are usually costlier than their metal counterparts.
These braces are a lot less common than ceramic and metal braces. The braces are attached to the back of the teeth. Because of this, lingual braces can be more comfortable than other types of braces. However, you get the benefits of metal and ceramic braces while keeping the treatment discreet. Lingual braces are custom made so they fit the shape of the teeth and the arch of the inside of the mouth well. Because of this treatment’s intricacy, lingual braces often cost twice as much as other braces.
Orthodontic surgery is reserved for cases where there is a severe misalignment that cannot be corrected using braces. This surgery is recommended for teens and adults who have already reached skeletal maturity. Even though this is the most expensive teeth straightening option, it does much more than align your teeth. The procedure can help with other issues such as jaw pain and jaw conditions that cause difficulty eating, swallowing, and sleeping.
Teeth straightening has a lot of benefits which range from giving you a better smile to correcting eating or sleeping issues. There are several options to choose from depending on your budget and what you are comfortable with, and the options above are the best ones to choose from.