When we think of braces a vivid picture of a metal mouth comes to our mind. Slowly, this picture is fading away as orthodontic advancements have allowed people of any age to correct their misaligned or crooked teeth with methods that are beyond traditional metal wires and brackets.
Common Causes of Misaligned or Crooked Teeth
The cause of misaligned teeth is often attributed to hereditary factors. However, research has provided enough evidence that point to other causes too. Some of the causes are as follows:
- Breathing through mouth
- Tongue thrusting
- Reverse swallowing
- Thumb sucking
- Incorrect jaw development due to allergies, asthma and an open mouth posture
Different Teeth Straightening Procedures for Crooked or Misaligned Teeth
Braces are now not restricted to metal wires. Technology and innovations have empowered today's orthodontists to offer more teeth straightening options than ever before. Here are some of the options available:
a. Fixed braces
These traditional braces are tiny brackets made of metal. These brackets are placed on uneven teeth with a wire holding them together. It is the most popular method used to correct crooked teeth.
b. Removable Braces
These braces are usually made of plastic or bio-friendly acrylic. The wire clasps and springs help to hold the braces bound to the teeth. Removable braces are usually used to treat less severe teeth problems.
c. Fixed Clear Braces
These ceramic braces are transparent and adopt the color of the teeth. These braces have gained popularity and are wildly preferred due to their ability to stay invisible while doing their work.
d. Clear Ceramic Braces
These ceramic dental braces are tooth-colored braces and look like a retainer. Although the wire is silver, the brackets and ligatures that hold the teeth are clear.
e. Lingual Braces
These metal braces are placed behind the teeth instead of the front so that they are invisible when you smile. The wires and brackets are put up against the tongue.
f. Damon braces
Damon braces are fitted exactly in the same way as the traditional metal braces, but instead of having to regularly tighten the braces, Damon braces have wires attached to the brackets that adjust themselves to move along with the teeth as they align.
Retainers are used in patients with a mild form of misalignment. These braces are similar to removable braces and are popularly used for a few months after the treatment (with braces) to avoid movement of the teeth back to its original crooked position.
Invisalign doesn’t make use of metal or wires. These devices are barely visible as they are made of clear plastic. Invisalign involves a series of sets depending on the severity of the condition. Each set of aligners is worn for a couple of weeks to be replaced by the next set in the series. They cause negligible irritation and most importantly, they do not disrupt your normal life like other braces do.
4. Porcelain Veneers
Dental veneers are revolutionary cosmetic dentistry treatments that can improve and transform smiles and lives. These thin customized shells are designed to cover the surface of the teeth. Although they do not physically move the teeth for better alignment, they mainly correct the outward appearance of the teeth. While braces treat major conditions such as crowding, huge gaps between teeth and cross bites, dental veneers are best to treat cosmetic concerns like – chipped teeth, discolored teeth or tiny gaps between teeth.
It is important to treat crooked teeth before they cause more serious complications. If your crooked teeth bothers you, an orthodontist can help you go through the new and improved options of orthodontic treatment that have been introduced and choose the one that best meets your needs.
Shen Chao is part of Dr. Joshua Hong’s Dental Clinic in Goodyear, AZ. While working for the dental clinic, he's gained first hand experiences into the questions and concerns that dental patients have. He has been writing to inform people about various dental topics to help his readers improve their oral health. When he's not working, you can find him on a hiking trail with his dog or having a Sunday cook-out with friends.