Effective Ways to Straighten Teeth at Home
According to a poll from Dentistry Today, approximately a quarter 28% of Americans don’t like smiling because of crooked, overlapping, or gaps in their teeth. For many, a straight, beautiful smile is highest on their wishlist, yet the idea of wearing traditional metal braces is a concern due to pain, mouth sores, teeth discoloration, and embarrassing food particles.
If you are unhappy with your smile, don’t worry, there are plenty of safe and effective ways to straighten your teeth at home:
1. Clear aligners
Clear aligners, sold under brand names like Invisalign, are a series of tight-fitting, plastic trays that slip over the teeth to progressively straighten, correct overbites and underbites, and close gaps between teeth. Clear aligners from Invisalign are ideal for patients with mild to moderate spacing and crowding problems, and for teens or adults whose mouths and teeth are fully developed. As opposed to traditional metal braces, the benefits of clear aligners are:
- Less obtrusive and obvious compared to metal braces.
- Can be removed for eating and cleaning.
- Fewer dental checkups for readjustments.
- Less pain compared to metal bracket braces.
- Cheaper in cost. For instance, Invisalign users report spending between $5,000 to $8,000.
- Faster results, an average of 10- to 24-months for successful treatments.
Talk to your doctor or dentist today to find out more about Invisalign clear aligners, or take a quiz online to find out if Invisalign is the best option for you.
2. Lingual braces
Lingual braces may sound akin to traditional braces, but these are outfitted on the back of the teeth for a more discreet option. Lingual braces are made up of a system of wires that adapt to the inner tooth line, which are adjusted regularly to progressively tighten and straighten teeth. While lingual braces are worn in shorter durations compared to traditional braces (on average 6 to 24-months) they tend to be pricey as they are made of gold wire.
Retainers come in either fixed or removable options that fit over the upper and/or lower arches of the mouth. Retainers tend to be used to correct minor misalignments in teeth, and can be easily worn by younger patients whose mouths and teeth are still growing and adjusting.
Retainers are generally priced between $500 and $2,500.
4. Palatal expanders
Also referred to as a rapid maxillary expansion device, these oral orthodontic expanders are utilized to widen the upper jaw in cases of overcrowded teeth and underbites, so that lower and upper teeth bite together more effectively. Palatal expanders are adjusted via a screw and a series of bands attached to teeth. When the screw is tightened, the bands push to widen the jaw. This device is typically recommended for children under 15 years of age whose mouths are still growing and pliable.