If you’re like most people probably think of teeth straightening as something you undergo in childhood, and if you’ve made it to adulthood with crooked teeth that there’s nothing to be done about them. Not only is this not the case, but straightening teeth as an adult can have verifiable benefits. Not only will your smile look more pristine than ever, but correcting crooked teeth can help reduce your risk of tooth decay, tooth loss, and other dental issues.

The only question is how you go about correcting your misaligned teeth.

Fortunately, there are several ways how to straighten teeth at any age. Here are a few of the most common options.

Metal or Ceramic Braces

traditional braces

The best-known solution to misaligned teeth is having braces applied. And though you might be hesitant to wear braces as an adult, you should understand that you have more options than you may realize.

There are the old-fashioned metal braces we’re all familiar with. These use a series of metal wires and elastics to shift the teeth into position over time.

And for those who want a less-noticeable alternative, there are ceramic braces as well. These work the same way as metal braces but have tooth-colored ceramic brackets instead of metal ones to make them look less obtrusive.

And there’s also a more modern variation in the form of self-ligating braces. Instead of the complex system of elastics traditional braces use, these braces have a built-in system to secure the archwire to the brackets. To see how this system improves upon traditional braces detail, learn more about how self litigating braces work.

Dental Aligners

Time for braces

If braces aren’t the right choice for you, the next best option is using dental aligners.

These are transparent appliances made from molds of your teeth that apply slight pressure over time. Every few weeks, you’ll replace them with a new set that further applies pressure, correcting crooked teeth over a prolonged period.

Their main benefit is that they’re almost invisible to the casual observer.

Straightening Teeth With Surgery

Stabilizing Dental Bridges

For cases where there is a severe misalignment of the teeth or jaws, surgery may be the most viable solution.

It’s an intensive process that can require up to six weeks of healing time. For that reason, surgery is usually reserved for repairing functional problems instead of cosmetic ones.

Weighing Your Teeth Straightening Options

These options for straightening teeth can do more than improve your smile. Misaligned teeth are more prone to decay, injury, and other health problems down the line. Correcting the issue can help you keep your smile for years to come.

It’s only a matter of picking the right option for you. And then maintaining good oral health once you’ve gotten your perfect smile. For all the tips you need to know to keep your smile β€” and overall wellbeing β€” in optimal shape, be sure to follow our latest health news and guides.

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