The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends children see an orthodontist no later than age 7. But that wasn’t the case for many of us. Even if you did have orthodontic treatment as a kid, teeth are prone to shift and change as we age.
Either way, today, you may be looking into the best way to straighten teeth for adults.
Most people aren’t born with correct teeth alignment, so you’re not alone. Unfortunately, it’s more common for someone to need braces than not need them. Nine in 10 people have misaligned teeth, and three-quarters of us do not have enough room for wisdom teeth to emerge.
And once your wisdom teeth do push their way in, they’re likely to cause excessive crowding and other orthodontic issues.
Whether you had braces earlier in life, have noticed a change in your smile, or are experiencing dental discomfort, there are a few options to straighten your teeth as an adult.
3 Different Ways to Straighten Your Teeth
Straightening your teeth can happen in a few different ways and is incredibly beneficial. Correct teeth alignment:
- Can relieve jaw pain
- Realigns crowded teeth
- Closes gaps between teeth
- Improves the appearance of your smile
Choosing the best way to straighten teeth for adults starts with educating yourself on the different ways to straighten your teeth. Let’s explore three popular teeth straightening methods for you to consider.
1. Traditional Metal Braces
The tried-and-true orthodontic teeth-straightening method is braces. Traditional braces can correct most orthodontic issues as opposed to other teeth-straightening alternatives, which is why they’re still widely used.
Traditional braces are the best way to straighten teeth for adults and children if their teeth are rotated or need to be raised to match the height of the other teeth. If your midline needs adjustment or your teeth have large gaps between them, metal braces will likely be the recommended option to straighten teeth.
Metal braces use stainless steel brackets mounted on the center of each tooth with a slot in the middle. A thin metal wire is threaded through this space which gradually gets tightened to correct teeth alignment over time.
The metal wire is secured to the brackets by small, colored bands, which children and adults have fun selecting, giving braces their distinctive look.
2. Clear (Ceramic) Braces
Typically, people think of metal braces when they imagine correct teeth alignment treatment. However, clear braces are a discreet teeth-straightening alternative to metal braces. They’re also great for those who can’t use Invisalign but still want an aesthetic treatment option.
Clear braces are made of a tooth-colored ceramic material making them less noticeable than their metal counterparts. They work the same way metal braces do, but they look different.
Unfortunately, clear braces are not as strong as metal braces because they’re made of ceramic instead of stainless steel, which can slow down treatment. Also, due to ceramic being less sturdy than stainless steel, clear braces are more likely to break. Any breakages would also increase treatment time.
As long as you’re careful – avoiding certain foods and habits with braces – you shouldn’t have to worry about anything breaking.
Treatment time for ceramic braces can take anywhere from a year and a half to three years. Metal braces can work faster, potentially taking less than a year to straighten teeth. However, if you want the fastest form of braces, ask us about Lightforce custom braces.
Some people refer to Invisalign as “clear braces,” but it’s an entirely different tooth straightening option.
Invisalign is a wire-free alternative to braces, using transparent plastic trays instead of metal or ceramic brackets. The most attractive aspect of Invisalign is that these trays, also known as aligners, are even more inconspicuous than clear braces.
With Invisalign, you receive 8-12 clear aligners at a time that you are responsible for changing every week. Each set of trays is slightly different from the previous one, shifting your teeth into correct alignment.
Although aligners are not attached to your teeth, orthodontists like Dr. Bates recommend keeping your aligners on for at least 20-22 hours a day—only removed when eating or brushing.
Invisalign takes 6 to 18 months to straighten your teeth, depending on your personalized treatment plan. If you don’t wear your aligner trays regularly, your treatment time will increase in the same way as if your bracket breaks with braces.
Most people are good candidates for Invisalign, but not everyone. Those with severe dental issues or underlying medical conditions that impact jaw growth may not be the best candidate.
So, what is the best way to straighten teeth for adults?
So, How Do I Get My Teeth Straight?
The best way to straighten teeth for adults (or children) varies. It depends on your dental health, history, and current problems. At this point, you may be wondering, “How do I get my teeth straight? Which teeth straightening method is right for me?”
You won’t know which types of teeth straightening options are best for you just by browsing the internet. Instead, you need the guidance and professional opinion of an orthodontist after a thorough evaluation.
Our team at Bates Orthodontics can help you choose the best adult teeth straightening method for your unique needs. We offer various tooth straightening options from braces to Invisalign for all ages. Plus, we charge the same price for all of our teeth straightening treatments.
From the moment you walk through our doors for the first time to the day you leave with a perfect smile, you’ll receive the highest quality care. So if you’re looking into teeth straightening for adults, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Bates today.