“Should I straighten my teeth?” is a question we can help you answer. Most people can look in the mirror and determine whether their teeth are crooked, but the severity may not be obvious. Many people assume that teeth straightening is purely cosmetic, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Straight teeth are important not just for your self-esteem and confidence but for your health. Crowded teeth are a source of pain for many. Thanks to advances in modern dentistry and orthodontics, multiple treatment options for crooked teeth are available to people of all ages.
In this blog, we list the four best teeth straightening methods. Once we explain the different dental straightening options available, we’ll introduce you to our resident specialist in straightening crooked teeth: Dr. Bates.
4 Options for Straightening Teeth
Invisalign and braces are the two most common options for straightening teeth, but there are nuances within each. In this section, you’ll learn about four dental straightening options available at Bates Orthodontics.
Teeth Straightening Option #1: Invisalign
Invisalign is commonly referred to as “clear braces,” but they aren’t braces at all. Invisalign uses a series of “invisible” plastic aligners that patients change weekly. Each set of aligners is slightly different from the ones before, gradually shifting your teeth into their correct positions.
Invisalign requires much more patient compliance than braces since the aligners can be removed. At a minimum, Invisalign patients must wear their aligners for 20-22 hours per day. The aligners should only be removed when eating, drinking anything but water, or brushing your teeth.
Invisalign treatment takes between 6 and 18 months to straighten your teeth. However, if you don’t wear your aligners regularly, you risk extending your treatment time.
Teeth Straightening Option #2: Metal Braces
Metal braces are the tried and true teeth straightening method. While Invisalign may not be the best method to straighten teeth for everyone, braces are great for all sorts of orthodontic conditions. Unlike Invisalign, which uses a system of plastic trays that cover the entire top and bottom rows of teeth, traditional braces use metal brackets.
Orthodontists mount stainless steel brackets on the center of every tooth, then thread a metal wire through them. The wire is held in place by elastic bands, which patients can select in different colors. The archwire increases in size at every visit, which puts more pressure on the teeth, helping them move into alignment.
Braces can treat patients in as little as six months, depending on the case. Other times, braces treatment may take over 24 months.
Teeth Straightening Option #3: Clear Braces
Clear braces are another popular option for straightening teeth, especially among adults.
Clear braces are less noticeable than metal braces but more noticeable than Invisalign. They function the same way as traditional braces but use a different material. Unlike Invisalign, made of plastic, or traditional braces, which use stainless steel, clear braces are made of tooth-colored ceramic to help the brackets blend in.
Since clear braces use ceramic, which is less durable than their stainless steel counterpart, treatment usually takes a bit longer than traditional braces. Unfortunately, this also means ceramic braces are more prone to breakages, which may increase treatment time.
On average, patients can expect to wear clear braces for 18 to 36 months.
Teeth Straightening Option #4: Lightforce Braces
At Bates Orthodontics, we’re proud to be the first in Richmond, VA to offer Lightforce: the fastest form of braces.
Lightforce’s 3D technology enables orthodontists to create a fully custom bracket – from the slot (where the wire fits in) to the base (the area that bonds to the tooth) – using 3D printing. With this option, you get the power of metal braces and the invisibility of ceramic braces without the wait.
Lightforce works the same as traditional braces, but instead of generic brackets and wires, the braces are built just for your teeth. Due to how customized Lightforce braces are, overall treatment time is cut down compared to the other dental straightening options.
Which Option Is the Best Method to Straighten Teeth?
The best method to straighten teeth depends on the person; orthodontists will make professional recommendations based on various factors (e.g., dental health). Therefore, the best teeth straightening option for one person may not be best for another.
Are you interested in learning which method is best for you? Then, keep reading to meet our specialist in straightening crooked teeth.
Dr. Bates: Your Specialist in Straightening Crooked Teeth
“Is teeth straightening worth it?” Only you can answer that question, but our specialist in straightening crooked teeth, Dr. Bates, can help you determine the best teeth straightening option.
At Bates Orthodontics, we’re proud to be a leading orthodontic care provider in Richmond, VA. Choose from a range of dental straightening options, including Invisalign, traditional braces, clear braces, and Lightforce braces for children and adults. In addition, we stay informed about the latest advances in orthodontics to provide you with the most effective care possible.
Our team takes a personalized, conservative approach to orthodontic care. We don’t recommend unnecessary procedures or treatments. Instead, we aim to straighten your smile fast without compromising quality or comfort.
Book your first appointment online to meet Dr. Bates, our specialist in straightening teeth using all four techniques discussed in this blog.