Straightening Your Teeth: The Ultimate Guide

You might start to notice that a lot of people are emerging from their time at home with a more dazzling smile. What’s their secret? They straightened their teeth.

That’s right, the latest move is straightening your teeth. What better time to do it than now, when we’re still dealing with a few pandemic-era restrictions?

Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way since you were in middle school. You may not know just how many options you have to achieve a better smile.

Read on to find out about all of the different ways that you can go about straightening your teeth in 2022.

Different Types of Braces

Sure, when you think of old-school teeth straightening options, you probably think of braces. However, we think it’s important to include braces on the list because there are so many different kinds of braces today. Let’s get a better look at what you can expect if you ask your orthodontist about braces.

Metal Braces

Metal braces have undergone tons of updates and improvements over the years but at their core, the teeth straightening technology looks about the same. Metal braces include metal brackets, a metal wire, and elastic bands that keep the wire secured to each bracket.

Most dental insurance will cover some of the cost of metal braces. Many policies will pay out more for metal braces than other types of braces, which are considered more cosmetic.

Damon Braces

Damon braces are a newer type of braces and they’re considered “self-litigating,” which means that they don’t need the brackets or the elastic bands. How does this work?

The metal band operates on a sliding mechanism that your orthodontist can tighten over time. They look more like a metal retainer than typical braces. They do cost more than typical braces.

Invisible Braces

Lingual braces are more commonly referred to as invisible braces, which you may have heard of. They’re invisible because they adhere to the inside of your teeth, rather than the outside.

Some people find invisible braces to be uncomfortable. They may change your speech patterns or crowd your tongue. That said, many people have success with invisible braces.

Dental Aligners

Aligner trays are a very popular and modern alternative to traditional braces. They’re a great option for a lot of people as long as you’re willing to commit to wearing your aligners for most of the day. Let’s talk about the differences between using aligners for the long-term or short-term and how to determine which one you can expect for you.

Aligner Therapy

Clear aligner therapy is a moderate to a long-term solution to crooked teeth. Clear aligners are plastic trays that are customized for your teeth. Each tray is slightly closer to your ideal bite and tooth alignment so that your teeth will shift under the pressure of the aligners over time.

Clear aligner therapy often takes more than six months. To get the best results, you want to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. You will need to take them out to eat food, drink beverages other than water, and practice oral hygiene, but otherwise, you’ll want to keep them on your teeth.

Short-Term Aligners

If you don’t have a ton of cosmetic dental issues to address, you may be able to go through a short-term clear aligner therapy process. This will typically last between four and six months.

The primary difference between long-term and short-term aligner therapy is the length of time you’ll need to continue using your aligners. Otherwise, the process and the aligners, themselves, are quite similar.

Additional Cosmetic Procedures

What if you don’t want to use braces or dental aligners? There are a few in-office cosmetic dentistry procedures that you can enquire about at your next appointment. These procedures aren’t right for people who need major realignment, but they can fix other issues.

Dental Bonding

What if your issue isn’t that your teeth aren’t straight, but that you have gaps between one or more teeth that you want to have closed? When this is the case, something like braces or aligners may not be the right choice. Both of those options take longer to fix the problem that you are trying to address.

Dental bonding, on the other hand, is a quick in-office procedure that is minimally invasive. Soft resin is bonded to your teeth and shaped and molded to blend naturally with your teeth while closing up any gaps you have. This is also an option if your teeth are uneven.

Dental Veneers

What if you have a few cosmetic errors like a crooked tooth or gaps and you’re not happy with the quality of your teeth? Some people find themselves with severe discoloration, chips, or other cosmetic issues that would be difficult to correct. In this case, you may want to ask your dentist about veneers.

Veneers are porcelain or ceramic shells that adhere to the teeth you wish to cover. They look just like teeth but whiter, straighter, and more attractive. If you are unhappy with the quality of your teeth, dental veneers can give you a whole new smile.

Straightening Your Teeth: The Choice Is Yours

You may start to notice that more and more of your friends are emerging from their homes with straighter, better-looking teeth. If you’re interested in straightening your teeth, you’re in luck. Nowadays, there are several different methods to choose from to get the smile you’ve always wanted.

It’s easy to get stressed about the things that we want to change about ourselves. We’re here to ease your mind and provide you with information, guides, and tips to make the changes and choices you want to make. Take a look around for more content like this.