Teeth straightening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure to align crooked, wide, or crowded teeth. It can be done using various methods and materials. Tooth-colored braces are the most common method of treating misaligned teeth. These braces utilize metal wires and brackets to guide teeth into their proper positions gently. Smaller clear, removable aligners may also be used.
Teeth straightening is a cosmetic procedure, so it is entirely optional, and the dental team will discuss your reasons for wanting to have your teeth straightened. Be sure you’re clear about what treatment involves before agreeing on a course of action.
What Are My Teeth Straightening Options?
Braces come in many different designs and materials, and they can be made to fit either the upper or lower teeth. The method used will depend on your age and any specific problem with your teeth.
Teeth straightening has many other names such as “orthodontics” or “orthodontic treatment”.
- Braces: Traditional metal braces are still the most common method for teeth straightening.
- Clear aligners: Small, clear plastic trays or “aligners” gradually shift misaligned teeth into place without wires and brackets.
- Clear removable aligners: These clear trays are the same as above, but they only work in people who already have good oral hygiene habits.
- Invisalign (invisible braces): Braces that use advanced 3D computer imaging and design technology and clear aligner trays made from smooth, flexible plastic to shift teeth into place without wire or brackets gradually.
When Will My Treatment Finish?
This depends on the chosen treatment plan and the speed at which your teeth move in response to orthodontic treatment. Most patients can expect to wear braces for between nine and 18 months, but the length of time will vary from person to person.
Individuals who can comfortably attend regular check-ups and keep up with recommended tooth-cleaning routines will make the process faster and more comfortable. If you’re unable to commit to these essential steps for your teeth, it may take much longer to complete treatment.
As a general rule, the younger you are when you begin treatment, the quicker it will be completed. This is because as we age, our mouths change, and the speed at which the teeth move throughout treatment decreases dramatically.
There is no difference between how early or how late you can straighten your teeth. The ideal age for treatment starts when the jaw is growing in most cases, which is usually after the age of 10. Many parents are keen to have their children treated with braces because, at this point, they are still young enough to go through orthodontic treatment without any distractions from school or friends. You can get your teeth straightened at any age. However, it’s best to start as soon as possible because the younger you are when you begin treatment, the less time you will need to correct your bite and get rid of all problems related to crooked teeth.
Several different reasons like thumb sucking can cause misaligned teeth, tongue thrusting, or inherited factors. Whatever the reason is, it’s necessary to straighten them as soon as possible because of the effect they can have on your facial appearance and self-confidence.
On average, treatment takes about 18 months, including retainers after the braces are removed. However, this timeframe depends on how severe the misalignment is and can vary quite a bit. It may take up to 2 years if the misalignment is extreme, but you will most likely require less treatment because of your age or experience in oral hygiene.
The cost of each treatment is different. The ideal way to get an accurate estimate about how much treatment will cost without gaining any surprises is to visit your dentist and ask them to perform a preliminary check-up. After that, you can schedule an appointment with the orthodontist to get more information about what type of treatment is required and how much it will cost.