Teeth Straightening Options for Children and Adults

Crooked teeth are common problems that can be corrected using braces. Children and adults have more options than ever before to straighten their teeth and correct an uneven bite.

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Traditional wire braces offer strong control over the movement of your teeth, making them a fast option for cosmetic straightening. Other options include ceramic clear braces, lingual brackets and Invisalign.

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common form of teeth straightening. They use a series of brackets and a wire to apply constant, low-level pressure that gradually shifts the teeth into their correct position. These braces are extremely effective at handling all sorts of dental issues, including overcrowding and overbite/underbite. They’re also a good choice for fixing complex dental issues, like malocclusions and irregular bite patterns.

When used properly by an experienced orthodontist, metal braces can safeguard your oral health. They’re a great way to reduce your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, speech impediments, and other health issues. Additionally, they’ll make your teeth easier to brush, which can help you prevent stains.

Although they have their advantages, some people may be reluctant to get metal braces because of their unattractive appearance. If this is the case for you, you can opt for ceramic or lingual braces, which are less visible than traditional metal braces. These alternatives are perfect for esthetically-driven adolescents and adults who want to get their smiles in shape as quickly as possible.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces, or clear braces, are a popular option for adult patients who want a discreet straightening solution. They use the same components as metal braces but are much less noticeable, using clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires. The elastic bands that connect the archwire to the brackets can also be made in a variety of colors, so you can show off your personality while you straighten your smile!

However, ceramic brackets can be more fragile than metal and may need to be replaced more often. They can also stain more easily, especially if you drink coffee, tea, red wine, or dark-colored foods and candies. If you choose ceramic braces, it’s important to be responsible about avoiding stain-causing foods and beverages and to see your orthodontist regularly for cleanings and replacements.

Another drawback to ceramic brackets is that they can take longer to straighten your smile than metal braces, and they are more expensive. They are also more susceptible to damage from contact sports than metal braces, so they are best suited for adults who can avoid high-contact activities.

Clear Aligners

Achieving straighter teeth can make a big difference in your smile. Crooked teeth are not only unsightly, but they can also lead to problems with your oral health, such as a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Clear aligners are a discreet way to correct mild to moderate misalignment issues.

They work by applying pressure to the teeth over time. Like braces, they use custom-made transparent plastic aligner trays to apply gentle force on the teeth to shift them into their final position. Patients must wear the trays for about 22 hours per day, only removing them to eat, drink and brush and floss.

Aligner therapy can treat a range of problems, including closing gaps between teeth, correcting rotated or tipped teeth, and straightening overlapping or crowded teeth. In addition, they can address an underbite by bringing the lower front teeth back and the upper teeth forward to achieve a more balanced bite. It is important to visit your dentist or orthodontist regularly throughout the process to ensure that the aligners are working properly.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a great option for people who want to straighten their smile but don’t have time to wait for orthodontic treatment. These cosmetic coverings cover the front of a tooth, hiding its imperfections and giving it a bright and even appearance. Veneers can hide crooked teeth, but they are also effective at counterbalancing crowded or overlapped teeth. Veneers are strong and durable, but they’re not permanent, and they’re not a good solution for those who grind their teeth (bruxism), which can damage them.

During a consultation, we will examine the condition of your teeth and gums to ensure they’re healthy enough for veneers. We will take digital X-rays, photographs, and molded impressions to create veneers that perfectly fit your mouth and look natural in your smile. Veneers are not permanent, and they will need to be replaced at some point, though this depends on a person’s care and lifestyle. We will schedule a follow-up appointment to check how well your veneers are doing and make sure they are comfortable. This is also an opportunity to discuss any sensitivity or other issues that may arise.

Lumineers

Lumineers are a type of dental veneers that can be used to conceal teeth that are discolored, stained, chipped, cracked, or irregularly shaped. They are typically made of porcelain and can be a good alternative to whitening treatments for patients that may be allergic to bleaching products or who have stubborn stains that don’t respond to whitening. Lumineers are much thinner than traditional veneers and don’t require the removal of tooth material, which means they can be placed in place without pain and in a minimally invasive process.

Lumineers are custom-made to fit over your natural teeth to create a brighter, healthier smile that looks and feels like your own. They are also reversible and can address more cosmetic concerns than traditional veneers, which require more preparation and are not reversible. Patients can extend the life of their Lumineers by brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding stain-causing foods and drinks, and scheduling regular visits with a dentist. The dentist can check on the condition of the Lumineers and provide patients with aftercare instructions to keep them looking their best.