If your teeth are not aligned correctly, it can cause problems. Most noticeably, alignment issues can make you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your smile.
Misalignments, overcrowding, and gaps between teeth make brushing your teeth difficult. As a result, plaque bacteria will build up on the hard-to-reach surfaces of the tooth, opening you up to an increased risk of developing cavities. Additionally, the position of your teeth affects your bite. Having crooked teeth may mean your bite is uneven, which can cause jaw problems.
Fortunately, there are several teeth straightening treatments available. At Love Teeth, we use a clear aligner system called Invisalign and a subtle fixed brace system called Six Month Smiles.
Today, we will look at how teeth straightening treatments work and compare the different orthodontic options to help you decide which is right for you.
Common Orthodontic Problems
Before we look at how we straighten teeth, we should first discuss orthodontic problems and their causes. When closed, the top and bottom sets of teeth should line up. If they don’t, you have a malocclusion.
Here are some of the most common orthodontic issues:
- Crowding – Your teeth are too close together, causing misalignments
- Spacing – Your teeth are too far apart
- Overbite – Your upper front teeth protrude over the bottom
- Underbite – Your lower front teeth develop in front of your upper teeth
- Crossbite – All of your upper teeth fit inside your lower teeth
- Open bite – Your upper and lower teeth slant outwards and don’t meet
- Deep bite – Your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth
What Causes Misaligned Teeth?
There are several potential reasons why your teeth are misaligned. Overcrowding typically causes teeth to jostle for position along your jawline, causing some to grow at a crooked angle or to protrude.
Often, overcrowding is caused by genetic factors. When your jaw is too small compared to the size of your teeth, there may not be enough room to accommodate them all. These problems typically become apparent as we’re growing up.
On the other hand, if your jaw is large in relation to your teeth, you may have gaps. When there are spaces between your teeth, they can often drift and become misaligned too.
Other potential causes for orthodontic issues include trauma, disease, and habits like thumb-sucking during childhood. When a child sucks their thumb frequently, it puts pressure on their front teeth, causing them to develop at an angle.
What Problems Can Misaligned Teeth Cause?
If you have any type of orthodontic issue, it will not only harm your confidence; it will also affect your oral health.
Every problem affecting the position of your teeth can potentially make maintaining a good standard of oral hygiene difficult. This increases the risk of tooth decay, which could,in turn, lead to the loss of teeth, as well as gum and jaw problems. .
Bite alignment problems can cause speech impediments, affect your breathing, and harm your ability to chew. Additionally, they can lead to jaw, neck, shoulder, and facial pain and cause headaches.
How Do Teeth Straightening Treatments Work?
Now that you understand what causes misaligned teeth and why orthodontic correction is essential, we can look at how teeth are straightened.
The theory behind treating misaligned teeth has been with us for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians both identified that gentle force is needed to move teeth into more favourable positions. Back in ancient Egypt, they used braces made from animal guts.
The first modern orthodontic appliances started appearing in the 18th and 19th centuries, but it would take until the mid-20th century for fixed braces as we know them to be invented. Even later still was the invention of the clear aligner. Invisalign was one of the pioneering systems. Developed in the late 1990s, it wasn’t available until 2000.
Braces use a series of brackets fixed to each individual tooth. A wire is threaded through the brackets. Tension along the wire creates a constant gentle pressure against the teeth.
Each orthodontic treatment is carefully planned to make all the tooth movements needed to create the perfect smile. Periodic adjustments are made to the wire to alter the tension and progress the treatment.
Clear aligners are specifically designed to fit your mouth. Like braces, they use constant force to align your teeth. During your treatment, you’ll replace your aligner roughly every two weeks. Every new aligner is custom-made to help move your teeth further toward their end goal.
What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign is a versatile clear aligner system. It can treat a wide range of orthodontic issues. The discreet aligners are removable, which means you don’t have to worry about food getting trapped in them, as you can take them out at mealtimes and for cleaning.
You’ll need to wear your aligner for around 22 hours each day. The smooth plastic makes the aligners so comfortable you won’t have any issue sleeping while wearing them.
One of the most attractive benefits of Invisalign is how discreet the aligners are. The translucent plastic makes them barely visible.
Treatment lengths using Invisalign vary depending on the complexity of the case and range from six months to two years.
What Are the Benefits of Six Month Smiles?
As the name suggests, Six Month Smiles achieves its results in half a year. This is ideal if you have a major life event like your wedding on the horizon, Six Month Smiles is a fixed brace system that uses discreet brackets and wires.
Unlike other fixed braces, Six Month Smiles uses fewer brackets and only moves the most prominent teeth at the front. This cuts down on treatment times; however, it does mean it can only treat mild cases.
Teeth Straightening at Love Teeth
With discreet and convenient teeth straightening treatments like Invisalign and Six Month Smiles available at Love Teeth, there’s no need to live with a misaligned smile or the associated health issues.
Before starting any treatment, we’ll assess your teeth and jaws to decide which option best suits your needs. Next, we’ll plan your treatment using the latest digital technology.
Call us today to schedule your teeth straightening appointment at any of our Surrey clinics.