Teeth straightening is an orthodontic treatment to correct the alignment of crooked, protruding or crowded teeth. Straightened teeth will help to improve the appearance and help you to bite more evenly.
Children can have their teeth straightened if they are about 12 years old when their adult teeth have started to come while adults can be treated at any age, but the treatment options are limited to them.
There are different teeth straightening methods and they are:
Braces are commonly used for teeth straightening. Braces have to be worn for varying durations but normally between six months and two years. It is a highly effective and non-invasive method of teeth straightening. It works by gradually pushing the teeth into alignment. However, metal braces are unattractive and are not removable.
It makes use of brackets and wires that are fitted to the inside of the teeth, out of view. They work like regular fixed braces problems, to treat problems from crowding to unsightly gaps.
Invisalign is another alternative to braces, which are preferred by adults. It has a transparent plastic 'sheath' rather than metal tracks and it is removable. As the patient’s teeth change, dentists can change the shape of the Invisalign too, which makes it more effective than regular braces.
It is an efficient and safe way of correcting the crowded or protruded front teeth. The Aligner bows are positioned at the front and back of the teeth and the coil spring pushes the two bows together, thus guiding the front teeth to an ideal position in just 6-18 weeks. The aligner is a removable brace and it is invisible.
Retainers are used in the place of braces or used as a post-treatment after the braces have been taken out. It is not so tight and is removable. If the retainer is not worn regularly, then teeth could revert back to their non-straight state.
Surgery is also done to solve the problems of crooked teeth by pulling out teeth if you are suffering from overcrowding which can push your teeth out of alignment. U can have dental implants, which are false teeth that are surgically screwed into the gum and jaw to remove the gaps permanently. Also, surgery is done to bring your bottom teeth forward or back, even if you have straight teeth but they do not line up correctly when you close your mouth.
Veneers works by attaching a ceramic cover to the front of your teeth so that they are covered, and make your teeth appear much straighter or whiter without actually changing their physical location at all.
How frequently should I visit the dentist?
The braces have to be adjusted, normally every four to six weeks.
Will I need to have teeth removed?
In most cases, teeth are removed to create space for the remaining teeth to be straightened. Moreover, it depends on the complexity of the situation and the method adopted to treat.
Does having a brace cause pain?
Initial tenderness and discomfort might be felt, but this will usually pass as you adjust over the first few days.It is necessary to have good oral hygiene as the treatment increases the chances of teeth decay.
Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore