A Guide to Tooth Straightening

Having straight teeth can make a world of difference to your self-confidence and to the quality of your smile. But many people decide against straightening their teeth because they imagine it is a very time-consuming exercise. Traditionally, orthodontic braces move the teeth very gradually into their new positions. Often, patients undergoing orthodontic treatment would have to wear their brace for two to three years.

The aim of straightening your teeth is ultimately to give your self-esteem a boost. However, wearing conventional braces for two to three years is often likely to have the opposite effect. Conventional braces are made of metal and wire and they look ugly and feel uncomfortable.

Braces are most often associated with teenagers. At a young age, straightening your teeth means that you can look forward to a lifetime of smiling confidently. Therefore, wearing ugly braces ultimately seems worth it. But what about adults? Many adults also want straighter teeth. But it is not usually as easy to feel comfortable wearing braces when you are older. It can disrupt both your personal and professional life.

Nowadays, the dental profession has realised that many adults in particular are choosing to live with crooked teeth rather than live with braces for two to three years. Therefore, patients now have a number of different options for straightening their teeth. If you want your teeth straightened quickly, there are products that specialise in moving teeth fast. If you want your brace to be invisible, there are products with braces that are very discrete. Or if you want to stick to a budget, there are products where the emphasis is all about affordability.

First of all, let’s take a closer look at conventional braces. They are often nick-named ‘train tracks’ because the metal tracks on the braces run right across the middle of the teeth. No disguising those then. Metal wire and elastics are also incorporate into the design to create constant tension, which gradually moves teeth into their new position. Regular visits to the dentist are required, so that the tension within the braces can be slowly tightened over time.

From an aesthetic perspective, there is clearly plenty of room for improvement here. For example, if you are worried about other people being aware of your braces, you may choose to straighten your teeth using a Lingual brace. Lingual braces work in the same way as conventional braces, however they fit to the back of your teeth rather than the front. So you don’t have to put up with ‘train track’ look. Lingual braces can be slightly more uncomfortable to wear than conventional braces, although most patients soon get used to them.

There are also a number of other products on the market with innovative designs. In many cases, these products are specifically designed for adults who want to improve their smile without the hassle of wearing conventional braces. Invisalign is one such product – rather than being a brace, it is a series of clear plastic, removable aligners. Alternatively, you could also ask your dentist about The Inman Aligner. Neither product is suitable for major tooth straightening tasks, but they can both move crooked teeth quickly and easily.

The choices do not end there either. If comfort is most important to you, try Damon braces. They are designed without elastics, so they are more comfortable and work fast, as there is less friction stopping the teeth from moving. There is also a new treatment called Six-Month Smiles. The secret of this treatment is that it only moves the teeth you can see when you smile – so it can produce results very quickly (often in six months, of course!)

Every patient is different and everyone’s teeth are unique. Therefore it is important that you have a full evaluation by your dentist before you decide on any orthodontic work. However, it is safe to say that, now, there is a product or treatment out there to suit everyone. And of course, you can easily cheat! There is always the option of covering your crooked teeth with porcelain veneers. They will not move your teeth at all, simply cover them with thin veneers which are durable, tooth-coloured and which look fantastic.