Having crooked teeth is not typically part of your usual beauty equation. Unless you are Keira Knightly, Madonna, or Jewel, who all use their teeth flaws as part of their signature look and charm, having a noticeable malocclusion does not make you look pretty and healthy. Orthodontic procedures like braces are known to correct the alignment of your teeth. However, some of you have many complaints while trying to keep your teeth straight. Some say that braces are uncomfortable to wear, too gross to look at, affects their speech, among others. But is there another way on how to fix crooked teeth without braces?
What are Braces?
Dental braces are devices that are considered the basic orthodontic treatment to align and straighten teeth. This treatment is made up of wires and brackets that are attached to the teeth, pulled together by elastic bands, and are adjusted systematically to gradually move the teeth to their proper positions. Orthodontic braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone changes shape as pressure is applied.
What are The Disadvantages Of Wearing Braces?
While dental braces are the go-to orthodontic treatment solution most dentists use for crooked and misaligned teeth, they are also aware that many of their patients are complaining about undergoing this procedure.
It is Uncomfortable To Use
If you are wearing braces, chances of you having nicks and cuts on your lip, tongue, and the insides of your cheeks are high. Yes, the wires and brackets are glued to your teeth, so their sharp edges can cause these minor cuts. Though dentists provide dental wax to at least cover the sharp edges of your braces, these are sometimes not enough to offer much comfort.
It Affects The Way You Eat and Speak
Having bulky dental appliances attached to your teeth may affect how you enunciate your words, slurring your words, and making it difficult for you to confidently speak. Moreover, because braces move your teeth gradually, using your teeth to bite and chew your food becomes uncomfortable as well.
It Draws Unwanted Attention
Nerds and geeks are stereotypically portrayed on TV or movies as someone who wears big glasses, has a poor fashion sense, and, yes, has braces. Although there are now smaller and less attention-seeking versions of metal braces, like ceramic and lingual braces, they are still generalized as a less attractive method to improve your teeth alignment and smile.
Can You Correct Crooked Teeth Without Braces?
Let us answer the question categorically. If you are looking for a solution to treat malocclusion, the best way is to undergo orthodontic solutions, including braces. You can have dental aligners instead of the usual wire-and-bracket system, and we will tackle that area later. But if you are concerned about how your teeth look aesthetically, there are restorative, cosmetic procedures that you may try to make your teeth look straight. However, we have to reiterate that these restorations do not address the cause of the problem itself.
How To Fix Crooked Teeth Without Braces
Palatal or Jaw Expanders
Sometimes, your teeth become crooked and overcrowded not because of how they are positioned, but because there is not enough space on the jaw to position them correctly. If this is the case, dentists and orthodontists use palatal or jaw expanders to widen the arch of the mouth. This device is commonly used in children exhibiting early signs of malocclusion caused by having a narrow jawbone.
Clear Dental Aligners
Another orthodontic treatment that is considered the breakthrough innovation in correcting crooked teeth, dental aligners are indeed a great solution to straighten teeth without other people noticing. The appliance is made with transparent thermoplastic materials that are snugly-fit to the teeth, making them look invisible but still effective. Brands like Invisalign, ClearCorrect, and others promise affordable, faster, effective, and invisible orthodontic treatment to their patients with very minimal discomfort.
As mentioned earlier, there are other procedures that your dentist can offer you to make your teeth look straighter. The following may not correct your teeth alignment per se, but it can make your teeth look straight as if the malocclusion is not your problem.
Porcelain veneers may be utilized to give the facade of having straighter teeth without braces. This restorative treatment may be an option where a dentist glues very thin wafer-like shells that are colored the same as your teeth to act as a new front surface of the teeth. The shells are adjusted to make it look like you have straight, white teeth.
If the malocclusion is severe and overcrowding is difficult to solve without braces, your dentist may recommend using dental crowns. In this procedure, your dentist sculpts and leaves a very thin part of each of your visible teeth in order to permanently glue or bond a crown that would straighten teeth. The crowns will serve as the replacement ‘caps’ of your crooked teeth, giving a new and perfect alignment to your pearly whites.
Straightening your teeth may seem aesthetically important, but we must also consider its functional benefits as well. Having straighter teeth makes it easier for you to maintain your dental health, so problems will be prevented, and your overall health will not be affected. We give importance to procedures and orthodontic treatments that straighten our pearly whites, and while there are also solutions that do not necessarily entail braces use, we recommend consulting your dentist first before making any decisions as to how to address your malocclusion. DIY straightening procedures are big no-nos in orthodontics since they are not supervised by any dental professional who should know better in maintaining and preserving your dental health.