Teeth straightening

With celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Shaznay Lewis from All Saints having braces in their older years we explore different ways to achieving straighter teeth. There are many people who are born with natural straight teeth and some who are born with crooked teeth. The opposite can also happen, when people who were born with straight teeth end up with crooked teeth due to movement and loss of teeth in the mouth as you get older.

There are many options to achieving straighter teeth for all budgets we have a look at some of them.

Porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers don’t straighten teeth they just create the illusion of straighter teeth.  Though porcelain veneers won’t last forever and will need replacing after some time, they are often referred to as an ‘instant fix’. The disadvantage to having porcelain veneers is you will need to have some of your natural teeth structure removed do that the porcelain veneers can sit on top. Straighter teeth can be achieved in as little as a single visit to the dentist.

6 month smile

The 6 month smile is still a relatively new treatment, instead of moving all teeth the dentist will focus on teeth seen when you smile. Tooth coloured brackets are used with wires but only on some teeth. What would take 18 months to 2 years to complete can be achieved in as little as 6 months. So if you don’t have any severe crooked teeth it may be worth concentrating on the ones on show to get a nicer smile.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are very similar to the wire braces but these are fitted to the inside surfaces of your teeth, so they can’t be seen from the front when you talk. They are very uncomfortable and may take some time to getting used to but are a great alternative if you don’t want anyone to notice them. Lingual braces cannot correct severe crooked teeth.

Invisalign

Invisalign is becoming very popular with adults as a method of straightening teeth without anyone knowing. It works by having a custom made mould of your teeth that looks like a transparent gum shield. This is placed on your teeth and changed every two weeks so that the teeth are slowly moved to their desired position. Invisalign can also be removed when you clean your teeth and eat, unlike fixed orthodontic braces that stay in place for the duration of treatment.

Fixed orthodontic braces

Orthodontic braces work by having brackets on each tooth with a metal wire running through them, every 6 weeks or so (depending on the severity of the teeth) the wires are tightened at the back to make them straighter. Now you can get coloured elastics to fit round the bracket and wires. The time of which it takes to get straighter teeth depends on each case but in most cases it can take up to two years.

Orthodontic braces are more traditional and are still mostly used to treat younger children, although times are changing and there are other ways to treat crooked teeth, fixed orthodontic braces are still the most common. This may be due to the fact that orthodontic braces are free up until the age of 18; other types of treatment may incur a charge, as it’s not available on the NHS so you may have to go private.