Dental care is an investment that pays off immediately and in the long term. Taking good care of your mouth improves the chances that your teeth will last a lifetime. Good oral habits are a lifestyle in and of themselves. They require a commitment on your part, which is where this piece comes in. Learning…
Can I Straighten My Teeth Without Braces?
Braces are a popular treatment for teeth straightening that has existed for several decades. However, committing to braces can be difficult, especially if you are an adult with a busy lifestyle. That explains why many people would gladly consider other options to straighten their teeth. Sometimes, conventional metal braces are the most effective options for cases of severe crookedness or misalignment, but your dentist can discuss other alternatives with you and if they are right for your teeth.
Teeth straightening without braces
It is possible to correct teeth misalignment without getting traditional braces. The dentist will help the patient choose the best option to meet their expectations. Some of the alternatives include:
Clear aligners are removable dental trays that look like a thin, transparent version of mouthguards. They are highly effective for teeth straightening. Clear aligners like Invisalign are created from transparent plastic material and customized to fit over the teeth. For effectiveness, patients must wear the tray for at least 22 hours daily. The aligner trays are swapped out for new ones every few weeks to shift the teeth to their proper positions gradually.
The treatment is preferred because it allows patients to undergo treatment discreetly, unlike regular braces, but it is not for everyone. Typically, people with minor orthodontic issues such as protruding teeth, small gaps and slight crookedness can be eligible for Invisalign.
Dental crowns and veneers
Another option the dentist might provide for simple teeth misalignment is dental veneers and crowns. Veneers and crowns are primarily cosmetic treatments for fixing damaged teeth. Porcelain is often used to create these restorations because it has tooth-like properties.
While a dental crown covers the entire tooth, veneers are bonded to the front surface of the tooth. They are both effective for changing the shape and appearance of the teeth and make them look straighter. The dentist will prepare and shape the affected teeth to place the crown or veneer.
Typically used in children, palatal expanders can also straighten teeth without braces. Sometimes, teeth become misaligned because there is not enough space on the dental arch to accommodate them. The dentist can provide a palatal expander to widen the dental arch so that permanent teeth can erupt properly. The expander is hooked with two brackets connected to the molars in the upper jaw.
An important point to note
Patients with misaligned teeth need to consult their dentist for professional insight. The dentist will examine their condition and consider their smile goals. Only then will they be able to offer the best recommendation. If the misalignment is too severe for aligners or veneers, the dentist may recommend a less conspicuous type of braces, including lingual braces (that stay behind the teeth) or tooth-colored braces.
Some videos and instructions have popped up online on DIY teeth straightening. However, dental professionals advise against attempting teeth straightening without professional supervision as it could have health risks. To discuss the alternatives to braces and how to restore your teeth’s alignment, book an appointment with a general dentist today.
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