It is generally accepted that people with straighter teeth feel much more confident when smiling and talking than people who don’t. Because orthodontic treatment may involve wearing braces for up to 2-3 years, some people see teeth straightening as a difficult and lengthy process. The time needed to straighten your smile can sometimes be off-putting, but the confidence a new smile can give you makes the process very worthwhile. Many of our patients report a huge boost to their confidence after orthodontic treatment, which means they feel able to put themselves out there; try new things, apply for jobs, date, and so on.
Conventional “train-track” braces are designed to straighten teeth gradually. However, they can be mildly uncomfortable and are rather conspicuous. This deters many people from using them, but they undeniably produce excellent clinical results. They are particuarly used in teenagers and children to adjust the teeth whilst the jaw bones are still developing.
With adults, the idea of wearing braces may be off-putting; especially at work, or when out socially. Because of this, they may not bother trying to correct their smile at all. Sometimes, however, adults decide they would like their teeth straightened- and there are now more ways than ever before to achieve their dream smile.
These concerns surrounding orthodontic treatment have led to the manufacture of several products which try to make treatment as discreet as possible. There are various options depending on your budget, and how much time you have available for treatment.
Conventional metal braces, while effective at straightening teeth, are not very discrete. Because of their appearance they have come to be known as “train tracks”. They also involve having to regularly visit your orthodontist for incremental adjustments, so may not be suitable if you have a very busy schedule.
If you do not want ordinary braces, another excellent option is to use lingual braces. These differ from conventional braces in that they are fixed at the back of the teeth, rather than the front. They are therefore far more discreet, and generally people will have no idea you are using them unless you tell them, or open your mouth. They can cause some discomfort initially, but most people get used to them.
Another excellent option is Invisalign. These are clear, removable aligners. Your dentist will provide a series of aligners which should be changed at set increments. Over time, these aligners adjust the teeth and give you a totally new smile.As they are clear plastic, they are virtually invisible so are very discrete. Invisalignalso has a specialty brand called Invisalign Teen, which is particularly effective at correctingmisaligned crooked teeth in teenagers while their jaws are still developing.
The Inman Aligner is another excellent brand. However, these are not ideal for severe tooth misalignment, although they produce good and relatively quick results in less complex cases.
If you prioritise comfort, a good choice of braces is the Damon brand, because they have no elastics. They also produce relatively quick results.
The Six Month Smiles is another very good choice. These braces works only on the front teeth exposed when you smile. Because it only focuses on correcting these teeth, this system can produce good results within six months, just as the name implies.
If you would like to totally avoid orthodontic treatment, you have the option (depending on severity) of using porcelain veneers. These simply cover areas of misaligned teeth without moving them, while giving you a straighter smile. However, this option is not always suitable in all cases and has its drawbacks.
So, if you would like to correct your smile, there are a variety of different products available to suit your needs. Before making a choice you should speak to your dentist for better advice, so you can get the best treatment possible. Discuss your concerns and preferences, and your dentist will work with you to find suitable within your budget.
Whatever your choice, you and your dentist can work together to give you the smile of your dreams!