August 23, 2020
When we think of braces we always think back to being in school having train tracks on our teeth. The only thing that made it bearable was being able to change the colours of the little bands that went around the outside. It’s no wonder that as we get older we are less likely to go to the orthodontist to have any work done on our teeth to straighten them up. Fortunately, we now have many different ways we can straighten out teeth without the more traditional method of filling our mouths with metal for two years at a time. This does depend on just how straight or out of line your teeth are so getting advice will always be the first step. But here we take a look at some non-traditional ways to fix wonky teeth.
Hidden braces? What do you mean? I hear you cry. Well, the hidden brace is essentially the same as a traditional one but instead of it being on the outside of your teeth, they are nicely hidden away behind them. Meaning you can talk, laugh away, and joke around with your friends without them even noticing they are there. They’re also known as incognito braces or lingual braces. In this instance, you’ll have to go and see your orthodontist because each brace is customised specifically for the patient’s mouth.
Being self-conscious about wearing braces is a problem that many people suffer from. The hidden brace combats that and allows you to fix your teeth without feeling self-conscious at all. The difference between the two is the obvious inside of the teeth instead of outside, and the price. They do tend to be more expensive, but sometimes cost doesn’t matter when you want to feel good.
This sounds an awful lot like hidden braces, right? Well, they aren’t exactly the same but they do offer another solution that can’t be seen. An invisible brace is a clear plastic retainer that straightens teeth without the need for an actual brace. They are custom made for each individual patient and these quality teeth aligners tend to work pretty quickly compared to a normal, traditional method. The best thing about this is that you have an effective form of straightening your teeth in a fantastic time frame, and people won’t have a clue that you have a retainer in it!
The usual process goes like this: a dentist or orthodontist will take a 3D map of your mouth at the beginning of your treatment and a series of ‘braces’ will be created based on that map. These aligners are worn for around 22 hours a day and are removed for tasks like brushing your teeth and eating. Every two weeks you’ll switch to the next retainer in the series, it’s this slight change that will push your teeth back into a straighter position.
On the slightly more expensive end of the spectrum, cosmetic dentistry is an option that is alternate to every other, without the need for a brace at all. Veneers are thin, very hard shells of porcelain that are fixed to the front of your teeth. They’re used for a wide variety of reasons, including entire new sets of teeth or just cover up some that are crooked or wonky, damaged, or have discolouration, chips or spacing issues.
A brilliant feature of veneers is that they are really strong and very resistant to staining, something that everyone struggles with. They are a great alternative method to straightening your teeth using braces as they are permanent. The process involves a dentist removing the surface enamel of your teeth allowing them to attack the veneer directly to your tooth. The process is irreversible but will look amazing once complete. They tend to last up to 10 years at a time, then you’ll need to get them replaced. It’s reasonably expensive, but worth it if you want that Hollywood smile without having to wear a brace for the next few years.
Moving onto a method of straightening teeth that’s pretty widely known is the retainer. You would normally receive one after treatment with metal braces but they are also an option for adults that only want a single, or a few teeth aligned back into place. They fit over the entire arch of the mouth and are far less noticeable than traditional braces, but they aren’t completely invisible. They’re also far less expensive than metal braces.
The only issue if you want something done to your entire mouth is the retainer isn’t really designed for more than a few teeth. If you are seeking a different option and have a large number of teeth out then this wouldn’t be advisable.
You can hear the cries of people thinking about this option. But it is a viable one if you’re looking for an alternative method of straightening your teeth. This kind was traditionally used to correct extreme overbites, the headgear applies pressure on the upper teeth in the jaw. It depends on what’s needed, but usually, the headgear will either move your teeth into proper alignment, or it will simply keep them in place.
The downside to this method is that the headgear has to be worn for a certain number of hours during the day, so if you’re an adult going to work, it’s probably not going to be your cup of tea. Having said that, it’s not going to be the preferred method for a child that’s going to school every day.
Either way, it is an alternative method of straightening your teeth so it should be included in the list, even if it is a brief mention.
There is a lot of pressure for people to ‘look good’ these days, and whilst most of that pressure is put on by ourselves there can be some external sources that make us feel this way. The important thing to remember is that we are all human and realistically it doesn’t matter what we look like, what matters is inside. However, if you still want to pursue changing your teeth for your own preferred look then there are plenty of alternatives than just the traditional metal brace. Consult with your dentist or your orthodontist for the best possible options for you.