Having straight teeth is about much more than aethetics. When your pearly whites are aligned properly, it is easier to clean between them, and maintain your teeth and gums healthier. In recent times, Invisalign also looked into how people straight teeth are perceived, and the company discovered that it can impact everything from your job prospects to dating. Believe it or not, people may actually think you’re smarter if your teeth are straight. Whether you want a straighter smile for the sake of aesthetics, for the health benefits, or because you want to advance in your career, there are many routes you may take to get there.
Traditional orthodontics, often referred to as braces, are what most people think of when they want straighter teeth. They’re typically made of stainless steel and consist of metal bands that wrap around teeth like a ring, and brackets that are cemented to the teeth, which work together with an arch wire that gradually pulls the teeth into their desired position. Depending on what other corrections are needed, such as adjusting the bite or rotating teeth, additional tools may be used.
One of the newer orthodontic methods utilizes aligners. Instead of relying on bulky metal, a model of your ideal arch shape is used to create clear molds that fit over the top of your teeth. These molds, or aligners, are removable for meals and brushing, but must be worn the rest of the time. They are switched out every couple of weeks, to help guide your teeth into their ideal positions.
The best-known brand of aligners is Invisalign. The system relies on CAD/CAM technology to capture a digital image of your teeth and create the aligners. Many adults and teens favor Invisalign because it’s gentle and can be worn without the stigma of braces and it works very quickly.
Your teeth have ligaments that work like rubber bands. They stretch during orthodontic treatment, and can try to pull your teeth back into their original places following any kind of orthodontic treatment, retainers help keep teeth from moving after treatment. Over time, the ligaments will tighten up again, and your teeth will do a better job of staying in place on their own. However, your teeth will still try to shift as you age and habits may affect their position as well. Additionally, retainers can be used independently to make small movements to teeth. During this phase, most people only wear their retainers at night, to maintain their straight teeth for life.
Dr. King is one of 47 worldwide fellows of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and can create the gorgeous straight smile you’ve always wanted. Whether you’re interested in one of the methods discussed here, or would like to streamline the process with alternative treatments, Dr. King can help. To find out which methods are right for you, schedule a consultation today.