Having crooked teeth is a common problem. Though many people do not consider it a problem unless it is aesthetic, having crooked teeth can give rise to many dental issues. If you have ever wondered “How to align/correct my teeth?”, you are not alone! Many people across the globe who are conscious of their improperly aligned teeth wonder how they can get perfectly aligned teeth. But, before we understand the many options of aligning your teeth, do you know what causes crooked teeth?
Causes of Crooked Teeth
Both milk teeth and adult teeth can be crooked. They can either erupt in an improper alignment or lose their alignment after their eruption. There can be many causes of crooked teeth such as:
- Prolonged habits such as thumb sucking, use of a pacifier
- Hereditary and genetics
- Trauma leading to deranged jaw alignment
- Missing teeth
- Jaw size-tooth size mismatch
- Improperly positioned jaw
- Poor oral hygiene
- Cleft lip and palate
- Tumour in the mouth
- Mouth breathing habit
In each of these factors can result in improper teeth alignment but do you always need to correct them? Though crooked teeth need to be aligned, most people visit their orthodontist only when their crooked teeth are dulling their smile. But is that the only reason why you must correct or align your teeth? Not really!
Types of Alignment Problems Teeth Could Have
The crooked tooth is a general phrase used to indicate improperly aligned teeth. But there are different types of alignment problems that can occur, such as:
- Crowded teeth: When your jaw size is small and teeth size is larger, all your teeth cannot fit in the arch. This leads to the crowding of teeth.
- Spacing in between teeth: Spaces or gaps may appear between teeth due to large jaw size and comparatively small teeth size. This can also occur due to abnormal jaw growth.
- Crossbite: In an ideal scenario, the teeth in the upper jaw overlap those in the lower jaw by 2mm. When the reverse of this happens i.e., the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth, it is called a crossbite.
- Overbite: When the upper teeth excessively overlap the lower teeth (more than 2 mm), it is called an overbite.
- Underbite (also called open bite): When the upper teeth fail to adequately overlap the lower teeth, a gap is seen between the upper and lower teeth. This is why it is called an open bite.
Why Should You Align/Correct Your Teeth?
Before we get to “How to align/correct my teeth?”, we must understand ‘Why should I align or correct my teeth?”. The decision to straighten your teeth is a very personal one. However, here are reasons why you must align or correct your teeth:
- Crooked or improperly aligned teeth make it difficult to brush and floss efficiently (you are always going to miss a few corners)
- Difficulty in chewing food or improper chewing of food
- Crooked teeth create an imbalance in your biting force. Excessive forces on some teeth can cause them to break under pressure.
- Crooked or improperly aligned teeth affect the aesthetics of your face.
- In many cases, crooked or improperly placed teeth cause speech difficulties like a lisp
- Due to poor aesthetics, many people suffer from poor self-esteem and other related issues
Options for Teeth Aligning
Now that you know why you must get your teeth aligned, it is time to explore the many options available to do so. The best and the most natural way of getting teeth aligned or corrected is braces. However, there are many cosmetic treatments that like laminates, veneers, crowns, and implants that can be used to give you a beautiful, well-aligned smile without necessarily moving your teeth into alignment.
Types of Braces
Does the word ‘braces’ conjure an image of a teenager flashing a bulky, metallic smile? Well, let’s get past this image and acquaint ourselves with the types of braces available today.
Metal braces are the oldest and the most traditional option to straighten or correct your teeth. They consist of small metal brackets that are stuck on your teeth using dental adhesives. An orthodontic wire is passed through a slot in these brackets and tightened to apply pressure on your teeth. This pressure forces your teeth to move into alignment.
Due to the growing demand for aesthetic braces options, ceramic braces came into being. They are similar to metal braces but made from tooth-colored material, which makes them less conspicuous. Some dentists also offer a tooth-colored wire to go with these ceramic braces.
This is a new-age type of braces with a modified bracket slot where no elastics or colourful modules are required. These braces are also smaller in size, more comfortable and are available in both metal and ceramic variants. Treatment using self-ligating braces takes a few months lesser than conventional types of braces.
As the name goes, these braces are fixed on the tongue-side of your teeth, hidden away. Since these braces are not easily visible, they are an aesthetic treatment option to straighten your teeth. However, they are also uncomfortable when compared to other types of braces available. They frequently cause tongue ulcerations due to constant friction.
Clear Aligners/ Invisible Braces
These are the most advanced teeth straightening options available today in orthodontics. They consist of a set of transparent, plastic trays that need to be worn on your upper and lower teeth to move them into line. Clear aligners are custom-made for each patient and are removable braces as compared to other fixed options. Due to them being invisible when worn, their high level of comfort and convenience, clear aligners are the most popular types of braces available today! There are no dietary restrictions or any difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene with clear aligners.
Is There a Right Age for Braces?
If you thought that teeth alignment is for kids and teenagers, think again! There is no right age to align your teeth. Though most people associate teeth alignment with braces with teenagers, adults with healthy teeth and gums can also opt for these treatments too.
Most adults who wish to get their teeth aligned are those who didn’t opt for braces earlier when they were teenagers. The most likely cause for this being unaesthetic and ugly metallic or ceramic braces, lack of sufficient funds or awareness. Today, orthodontics has advanced greatly and offers a wide range of options that patients can choose from.
Most adults today opt for invisible or clear braces called clear aligners for their superior aesthetics (they are invisible from close distances), affordable and extremely convenient and comfortable to wear as compared to other braces options.
If you are still contemplating aligning or correcting your teeth, it’s time to make that life-changing decision today!
Can I Get My Teeth Aligned Quickly?
A common concern most patients have about their brace’s treatment is – “How long is my treatment going to take?” While most orthodontic treatments take an average of 2-3 years, the duration of your treatment depends upon several factors such as:
- The severity of your crooked teeth
- The health of your teeth and gums
- Your compliance with the treatment
- Regularity of your orthodontist visits
- Your age
If you are looking to get your teeth aligned quickly, you must opt for clear aligners, also called fast braces, because treatment duration with these braces is lesser than other types of braces. While some cases take as little as 3 months to complete, the average treatment completion time with clear aligners is around 1 to 1.5 years.
Compared to traditional braces, self-ligating braces take around 6 months less for treatment completion. For patients who require fixed orthodontic treatment but are looking for more comfortable braces options, self-ligating metal and ceramic braces make a great choice.
If your doubt about ‘How to align/correct my teeth?” has been answered and you wish to get your teeth straightened, contact 32Watts Aligners today! Our aligners are best-in-class, with 100% success rates at affordable aligners costs. What are you waiting for?