Can I straighten my teeth without braces?

Having crooked teeth can be a hard thing. There are many causes for this and the remedies are many, however, did you know that there are also alternative methods to getting braces? In order to learn how you can change this condition we have to understand the causes of crooked teeth, how to prevent it, and finally, how to correct them.

What Are The Causes Of Crooked Teeth?

Crooked teeth stem from a number of different sources. These may be genetic, or they may be a result of the way that we live or care for our teeth. Here are some of the most common underlying causes for crooked teeth:

Thumb Sucking. Because this habit is most often practiced by young children, it’s no wonder that it takes a serious toll on the teeth as they grow in. Sucking on your thumb for hours a day can pull your teeth forward and out of alignment and may be one of the leading causes of “buck teeth.”

Pressing your tongue against your teeth. The tongue is a powerful muscle, one of the most active and strongest in the body, and it can press and move teeth, especially in the early years, as they are just growing in. This can push your teeth out of alignment before they ever get a chance to grow in properly. If the tongue pushes unduly against the teeth or the individual has a hard time forming letters properly or trusts the tongues against the teeth to help with swallowing, these behaviors can affect teeth’s crookedness.

Problems with baby teeth. Most baby teeth fall out just before the adult tooth is ready to grow in. This allows the adult tooth to grow into the right spot and usually in the right position. However, many people will lose their baby teeth far before the adult teeth are completely ready to grow in. This means that the adult teeth may drift in the gums and end up not growing properly into their spot.

Wisdom Teeth. While most people top out at thirty-two teeth, some people are born with or develop extra teeth. Aside from wisdom teeth, which may grow in at the back of the jaw during the adolescent years, there may be a few too many teeth trying to grow into the jaw. The result is crowded, crooked teeth, as they all trying to find their place.

Not enough teeth. By that same function of genetics, some people may be born with not enough teeth. This will leave gaps in the jaw, which can cause other teeth to be pushed out of alignment (because there is room to roam).

Your teeth are too big. Even if jaw continues to grow after adult teeth all come in, it may be too late for the adult teeth to grow in straight. If heredity has dictated large teeth, there may just never been enough room for all of those big teeth in the jaw.

A small jaw. As with having large teeth, having a small jaw may just be inherent in your genes, as is having a narrow bite or a large one. If you have a small jaw, even normal-sized adult teeth may have difficulty growing into the proper alignment.

Are Crooked Teeth Bad for You?

Having crooked teeth may seem primarily like a cosmetic problem, but in reality, whether they are caused by genetics or by our own actions, teeth that are not properly aligned can cause a myriad of problems. For example, the jaw is designed to have teeth that, when the jaw is closed, align against each other fairly well. This aids chewing, keeps teeth healthy, and encourages proper dental health.

However, if you have some teeth that are out of alignment, they can cause problems, especially in your jaw joint and in your mouth’s overall health. Because crowded teeth can catch and hide particles of food, they are more likely to get cavities and eventually, decay and cause further problems with the gums. They can even make it difficult to chew food properly or cause you to break a tooth.

How to Prevent Crooked Teeth

While the factors that have the most effect on whether or not teeth are crooked fall into the genetic category, there are some measures that can be taken to prevent some crooked teeth. For example, if you have a child that is losing their baby teeth and growing in adult teeth, making sure that they are not sucking their thumbs can help to prevent some misalignments.

In that same vein, ensuring that talking and chewing are progressing properly can help to prevent the exacerbation of genetic crookedness. As early as is possible, have an x-ray of the teeth and see if the dentist or orthodontist can provide any predictions about problem areas that should be watched.

How To Fix Crooked Teeth

Invisible Braces. Lingual braces are placed completely behind the teeth. No one can see you’re wearing braces. Because the brackets and wires are custom-made for each tooth, treatment is faster, on average, six months to a year, and requires fewer appointments. It’s a great option for people in the public because they have a lot of concern about aesthetics.

However, adjusting to this system can be a struggle. Much as with traditional metal braces, a patient has to avoid eating crunchy foods like carrots. Lingual braces also can cause a patient to speak with a lisp, at least for the first few weeks. Tongue irritation can be eased by coating the brackets in wax. Applying the braces is extremely technique-sensitive, so orthodontists have to be well trained.

Nearly Invisible Braces. Invisalign, introduced in 1999, uses clear, removable plastic trays to straighten teeth. Every two weeks, the patient receives new trays that are closer to the teeth’s ideal position. Among the dentists interviewed, Invisalign is a clear favorite, as almost 60% of Americans with crooked teeth go with this treatment. Invisalign is nearly invisible to the naked eye, and trays can be removed for cleaning the teeth and for meals, eliminating worries about what you eat or about food stuck in the braces. Dental appointments are relatively short because the system is easy to apply and requires little maintenance. There’s also less discomfort compared with other options.

On the other side, compliance is one of the issues presented with this method. Patients have to wear the aligners for up to 22 hours a day. Anything less will result in a longer treatment time because the aligners aren’t applying constant pressure. Patients need tooth-colored attachments, or “bumps,” bonded to the front of selected teeth, to keep the trays from slipping off. If you have severe alignment problems, such as large gaps or twisted teeth, Invisalign won’t do the trick.

Visible Braces. Anything fixed on the front of the tooth. This could mean traditional metal wires with stainless-steel brackets, metal wires with clear plastic brackets, or metal wires with tooth-colored ceramic brackets. Traditional braces are often suggested to fix more severe alignment problems, such as a turned tooth, because they have a better grip on it.

The drawback is that these braces are completely visible. The brackets can cause discomfort and irritate the inside of the mouth for the first week or so until a patient adjusts. There are also issues with eating certain foods and keeping the teeth and braces clean. Clear brackets can stain. Treatment time for metal braces is typically longer, an average of 20 months, because cases tend to be more severe.

How To Straighten Teeth Without Braces

A beautiful smile and straight teeth are the dream of every teenager, as well as many adults. Wearing braces isn’t the only way to achieve this. Here’s how to straighten teeth without braces, depending on your specific condition.

Problems Correctable without Braces

If you have any of these conditions, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment that doesn’t require you to wear braces:

Limited overcrowding. If your teeth are only slightly crooked due to minor overcrowding, you may be able to resolve this using retainers.

Malocclusion. Correcting a bite out of alignment often requires appliances to adjust to the position of your jaw.

Underdeveloped palate or narrow the upper jaw. Widening your palate with the help of expanders will create the space you need for your teeth to move into their correct positions

Your orthodontic can ascertain how to straighten your teeth without braces depending on your orthodontic problems. Whichever method you eventually choose, be sure to maintain strict dental hygiene during treatment to ensure that your teeth remain healthy and strong.

Retainers

Fixed retainers, such as bonded lingual retainers, are attached with dental cement to the inner surface of the teeth to prevent them from shifting over time, which helps correct the patient’s bite and straighten teeth. A fixed retainer is a good long-term solution, but unfortunately you can’t remove it yourself for relief or repair.

Hawley retainers are removable retainers made from metal wires and acrylic formed to the shape of your mouth based on a dental impression. The retainers can be made for the upper and lower arches of the mouth to brace and straighten teeth.

Removable retainers are ideal for those trying to correct their smile’s appearance, because you can remove them for special events or occasional relief. But they’re easy to lose so it’s not uncommon for little ones to leave retainers on lunch trays – and expensive to replace.

There´s only one way to know exactly what treatment is better for you, and that´s consulting with your dentists before anything.

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