Along with white teeth, people want straight teeth. These are two of the most coveted aspects of a person’s smile and the methods for straightening teeth continue to improve. We’ll work with you to give you the straight, confident smile you can’t wait to flash.
Types of Teeth Straighteners
There are four main types of teeth straighteners:
- Metal braces, which use brackets affixed to the teeth to hold wires in place, moving your teeth into alignment over time.
- Ceramic braces, which perform exactly as metal braces except the brackets are ceramic.
- Lingual braces attach to the back of your teeth, making them pretty much invisible, although they usually aren’t as effective as traditional braces.
- Clear aligners (i.e. Invisalign or SureSmile), which you can remove whenever you want but should be worn for 22 hours/day to do their job right.
Do You Need Your Teeth Straightened?
Braces are most commonly associated with teenagers as their permanent teeth come in and we want to make sure they lock themselves in place with a good, attractive alignment before adulthood, when it becomes harder to realign teeth.
Many adults are now opting to have their teeth straightened, not only for cosmetic reasons but also for improved chewing, jaw alignment and making it easier to brush and floss.
Braces vs. Clear Aligners
Metal braces tend to be more effective at adjusting teeth, especially when they are severely overcrowded or you want to close large gaps. Braces also generally cost less than clear aligners. Because they can’t be removed, braces tend to be better suited to younger patients who might forget or be tempted to not put clear aligners back in or wear them as long as they should. Braces also tend to take longer to straighten teeth.
Clear aligners allow for easier brushing and flossing since they can be removed. They also require less trips to the orthodontist, because there’s no wire to change or adjust. Clear aligners can straighten teeth quicker than braces, but they also tend to cost more. And there are some things clear aligners can’t effectively correct that braces can, such rotated teeth or teeth that need to be raised to match the height of other teeth.
The good news is that you don’t have to make the decision alone. If you’re interested in having your teeth straightened, talk to us. We’ll make a recommendation and explain why it’s the best option for you.
Teeth Straightening FAQs
The time it takes for braces or clear aligners to straighten teeth varies patient-to-patient, and can range anywhere from one to three years. The average time it takes is usually about two years.
There is some pain, especially when your braces are first put on or you get your first Invisalign or SureSmile tray. It’s due to your teeth moving, and is pretty dull. The good news is that it goes away relatively quickly.
You’ll also likely experience pain each time you get a new wire put on your braces or a new tray. Again, this is caused by your teeth moving.
Following the removal of your braces or the end of your trays, you may be given a retainer to wear per our recommendations to make sure your freshly aligned teeth stay in place. Other than that, all you need to do is live your life with a smile (and brush and floss twice daily, of course).
We’re Ready to Help You
At Cajon Dental, everything we do is centered on you, your health and your experience.