Teeth that are misaligned can lead to jaw pain, periodontal disease and other conditions. Additionally, crooked teeth can erode confidence in a person’s smile and overall appearance. If you or a loved one is considering teeth straightening, one of these four options may be right for you.
1. Metal Braces
Metal braces are probably the first option people think of when it comes to perfecting their San Tan smiles. Metal braces, which are individual brackets attached to the teeth and connected by wires are a popular choice for teens because of their effectiveness and affordability.
Modern versions are smaller and more comfortable than older styles and are available in a variety of fun colors. Braces are one of the better options for people with complex teeth-straightening needs. Braces usually take between six months and two years to work. Patients must be diligent in their oral hygiene practices to avoid cavities and other issues while wearing braces.
2. Damon and Lingual Braces
These alternatives to traditional metal braces make the braces less noticeable. Damon braces feature self-litigating brackets that use a slide mechanism, rather than elastic bands to hold the wires in place. Lingual braces are placed on the inside of teeth, which hides them from view. Both of these styles of braces can be effective but may cost significantly more than traditional braces.
3. Clear Plastic Aligners
Clear plastic aligners are particularly popular with adults because they are nearly invisible. They work by exerting gentle pressure on the teeth to gradually move them into the desired shape. Treatment usually lasts from 10 weeks to two years. A new set of aligners is needed every two to three weeks. These aligners are removable and easy to clean but are not effective at treating complex misalignments, such as twisted teeth. For mild to moderate misalignments, clear aligners can be less expensive than metal braces.
4. Lumineers and Veneers
Rather than moving teeth back into alignment, lumineers and veneers are placed over the natural teeth to cover gaps, holes and other flaws. This option can instantly improve the appearance of the smile, without the lengthy treatment times and discomfort of braces or aligners; however, they can not correct bite issues or fix severe misalignments.
Whichever tooth straightening method you choose, straightening your teeth can have important benefits to self-confidence and oral health. Discuss your options with your dental professional to determine the best option for your needs.