Overcrowded, gappy, or misaligned teeth can make you self-conscious about your smile. You might find that you avoid being in photos and you avoid certain situations in life.
Fortunately, if you’re someone that hides your smile away, there are teeth straightening options available.
But before you get treatment, there’s probably a lot you’ll need to know.
Here are the answers to many of the most common teeth-straightening questions.
Why Do I Need Straight Teeth?
One of the main reasons people straighten their teeth is to make their smile look better. So often, the way your smile looks impacts your confidence levels. Teeth straightening helps you feel less self-conscious about showing your smile to the world.
But alongside the cosmetic benefits, there are some important health reasons for undergoing treatment. Overcrowded, gappy, and crooked teeth are often difficult to keep clean.
Small spaces and awkward angles can be hard to navigate a brush around, and often areas of your teeth become hot spots for bacteria leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
If your upper and lower teeth don’t align properly when you close your mouth, this could lead to problems too. A bite issue can cause tension in the joint between your jaw and head. This causes jaw pain, as well as discomfort in your head, neck, and shoulders.
What Causes Misaligned Teeth?
Misalignments affect a large percentage of people. One of the most common reasons for problems with the position of your teeth is genetics. Having a small jaw means your teeth haven’t got the space to sit perfectly aligned. Overcrowded teeth often become twisted so that the rest of your arch is accommodated.
On the other hand, a large jaw may lead to your teeth spreading out too much. Gaps may form between your teeth.
Other things that can lead to misaligned teeth include thumb sucking in early childhood, physical trauma to your mouth, or complications surrounding oral health issues such as gum disease.
How Does Teeth Straightening Work?
People have been looking for ways to straighten teeth for centuries. Back in Ancient Greece, the philosopher Aristotle and the ‘father of medicine” Hippocrates both contemplated the problem, as did the Ancient Roman physician Celsus.
Celsus suggested applying pressure to your teeth using your fingers could move them. As bizarre as it sounds, he wasn’t too far off the mark. Modern orthodontic treatments work by using gentle force against your teeth.
At the end of the 17th century, French dentist Pierre Fauchard created an iron device that widened the palette. In the early 19th century, Christophe François Delabarre invented a wire crib that could move teeth. The brace was born.
Fast-forward two centuries, and there are lots of treatment options that offer excellent results — each uses the same basic principle as Celsus suggested all those years ago.
How Long Does It Take to Straighten Teeth?
Before committing to treatment, it’s quite common to ask how long it’ll take. We can address some milder cases in around six months, whereas more complex problems may take two years or more to correct.
The exact time it’ll take to create a straight smile depends on the position of your teeth and whether you engage fully in your treatment.
What Is Six Month Smiles?
Six Month Smiles is a fixed brace system. Like traditional braces, Six Month Smiles uses brackets attached to your teeth with a wire fed through them. The tension on the wire moves your teeth. Unlike traditional braces, Six Month Smiles only covers the front teeth and just makes adjustments to these.
What Are the Benefits of Six Month Smiles?
As the name suggests, Six Month Smiles is designed to produce results in just half a year. This is the perfect way to correct mild issues affecting your front teeth.
Because of how short your treatment is, it is a great choice if you’ve got an upcoming event, such as your wedding day.
The brackets and wires used in Six Month Smiles are discreet. This makes this option preferable to traditional metal braces.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a clear aligner system. Made from a special plastic called SmartTrack, Invisalign aligners are removable.
During your treatment, you’ll replace your aligners every two weeks. Your new aligners will always have slight differences from the last. Gradually, each new aligner will take your teeth further along on their journey to the perfect position.
Invisalign’s effectiveness relies on you wearing your aligner for around 20-22 hours each day.
What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?
Most people love Invisalign because it’s so hard for others to spot your aligners when they’re in your mouth. Not only this, but you’ll barely notice them because they’re so comfortable.
As your aligners are removable, you can take them out and eat whatever you want. Because there are no brackets and wires fixed to your teeth, you won’t have to worry about your food getting trapped. The fact they’re removable makes it easier to clean your teeth and the aligners themselves.
Before any treatment with Invisalign, we’ll take digital scans of your teeth. These are used to create your custom-made aligners and to create a bespoke treatment plan. Using the latest software, we can show you a mock-up of what your new smile will look like if you have the treatment.
How Do I Decide Which Treatment Is Best for Me?
Which treatment is right for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Visiting our clinic for an assessment is the best way to determine which options are open to you.
For milder cases, you can choose between Six Month Smile and Invisalign. Where this is the case, personal preference comes into play. You might want the fast effectiveness of Six Month Smiles or prefer the subtle comfort of Invisalign.
In more complex situations, Invisalign is your best choice.
Teeth Straightening at Love Teeth
If you’ve got gappy, overcrowded, or crooked teeth, teeth straightening can help you feel good about your smile again. We offer treatments at our clinics at Stonecot, Sutton, Cheam, and Chessington. Call us today to book your consultation.