Following an orthodontic treatment plan under the guidance of your dental practitioner is the only way to address crooked teeth and jaw alignment issues. Depending on the extent of your correction needs, your dentist will make a recommendation on the most effective teeth straightening options for you. Let’s take a closer at what your treatment options are when you want to know how to fix crooked teeth.
The Importance Of Correcting Crooked Teeth
If you think you only need mild correction but are delaying orthodontic treatment, it’s important to note that straightening crooked teeth and addressing jaw problems is not just a cosmetic issue. Crooked teeth are more difficult to keep clean than straight teeth because they create small, awkward spaces that your toothbrush cannot access. Crooked teeth are more susceptible to cavities and decay and by not straightening them, you are at risk of running into complications later on.
How To Fix Crooked Teeth With Orthodontic Treatment?
Your dentist will evaluate your mouth and teeth to see if you need braces. For children, this is usually only done once all the adult teeth have erupted in the mouth. Your dentist will take a full medical history, take digital photographs and x rays to see how your teeth are positioned in your gums. Based on the outcome of your orthodontic assessment, your dentist will then prepare a treatment plan, detailing your treatment options, and a cost estimate so you know what to expect to pay for treatment.
How Long Will It Take To Straighten My Teeth?
Your treatment plan will dictate how long treatment will take and it depends very much on the complexities of your correction needs. Orthodontics are usually worn for 6 to 36 months, depending on the issues to be resolved. You can also expect to wear a retainer for a period after your braces have been removed.
Traditional Metal Braces
Metal braces are effective at correcting mild to severely crooked teeth and bit issues. They work by creating a system of tension in the mouth, designed to push teeth into a straighter position over time. Once your teeth start moving into new positions, your braces will need to be adjusted so they can continue to work well. You will need to visit your dentist for the adjustments.
While patients may find metal braces uncomfortable, especially after having adjustments done, they are the most cost-effective way of addressing crooked teeth and are ideal for adolescents. Modern design changes have resulted in smaller, more compact and more comfortable braces but patients may wish to wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
Patients must take special care to follow impeccable dental hygiene, brushing their teeth after every meal.
You may find it easier to use an electric toothbrush or oral irrigator if you wear braces, as these tools can make cleaning your teeth much easier.
Lingual braces are as effective as traditional metal braces at smile correction, however, they are placed on the underside of the teeth, so they are much less noticeable. Patients do report that lingual braces take some getting used to. Because of their placement on the back of the teeth, it may make speech a little more difficult.
Ceramic Or Tooth Coloured Braces
Ceramic braces work in the same way as metal braces, however, they are tooth-coloured and thus a lot less visible. Patients must take care to maintain their dental hygiene and ensure they do not stain the tooth coloured components.
Clear aligners have revolutionised teeth correction, offering patients effective teeth straightening with orthodontics that are hardly noticeable. As they are a bit more expensive than other orthodontic treatment options they are better suited to older teenagers and adults who know how to take good care of them. This means that, even though they can be removed for eating and drinking, they still need to be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day in order for you to meet your treatment goals.
Because it is quite easy to stain and discolour the plastic, you must remove your aligners prior to eating and drinking. You must also rinse your aligners and brush your teeth thoroughly before you replace them in your mouth.
Unlike traditional braces, which need to be adjusted regularly, clear aligners need to be changed every two weeks for a new set. When you have your dental consultation, your dentist will map out all the positions your teeth must move into in order to be straightened and, as your teeth shift, you will simply swap your aligners out for the next box in your set.
Clear aligners are suitable for mild to moderate teeth straightening, however, one of their biggest advantages is their ability to shift different teeth at different times, as they come into alignment.
Having straight teeth is an investment in your future dental health and can help you to avoid costly dental problems in the future. Crooked teeth will not self-resolve and often, the earlier the intervention, the quicker and easier your treatment is.
For help on how to fix crooked teeth, please contact us for a convenient appointment: (03) 9626 9581.