You’re having a great time with your friends. Someone asks you to pose for a picture and you happily agree. Then they post that picture on the internet.
And you’re mortified.
Even though no one else seems to notice, you immediately zero in on your crooked teeth. You hate your smile.
If this sounds familiar, you should look into options for correcting your uneven teeth. Keep reading if you’re interested in how you can achieve a straighter, more confident smile.
What Causes Crooked Teeth?
There are several reasons why your teeth may be crooked. Sometimes it boils down to genetics, but certain habits, illnesses, and injuries may also be the culprit.
The way your teeth are arranged depends on a whole range of factors, including how you chew, the size and shape of your teeth, and the shape of your jaw.
Many of these characteristics are directly related to genetics, so you can thank your parents.
Of course, there are bad habits that can lead to crooked teeth as well.
Just as you practice good posture while sitting or standing, you should be aware of what your tongue is doing as well.
The proper way to rest your tongue is at the top of your mouth, about a ½ inch behind your front teeth. Weird, huh?
Illness or Injury
Any trauma to the mouth can lead to uneven teeth, especially one that impacts the jaw.
Misalignment of the jaw can cause an under- or overbite that wasn’t present before. This affects the positioning of all of your teeth.
Regardless of the reason, you’re here because you’re interested in options to correct your crooked teeth. So, what are your options?
Options to Correct Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth can be a cosmetic issue for you, but they can also make it differently to chew properly. An uneven smile can even lead to injury if your jaw is not supported properly.
Luckily, you can seek treatment by visiting an orthodontist to review your options.
The most common and traditional route to correcting a crooked smile is to get braces. Braces are used to correct major dental problems like overbites, underbites, and crossbites.
Braces are attached to either the front or back of the teeth. Brackets are placed on your teeth and then connected with a tight, metal wire. The wire is tightened to straighten your teeth, which can make the process uncomfortable.
You will wear your braces until your orthodontist thinks they have done the job, but you’ll be given an estimated length of treatment at your consultation.
Braces are the most expensive method of straightening teeth.
The average cost of braces is $5,000 to $6,000, but can be higher or lower depending on your orthodontist and materials used. Some insurance plans will pay some of this cost, but usually not all of it.
If your issues are minor enough, a retainer may be all that is needed to achieve the smile you want.
Clear Aligner Trays
Another option is a clear aligner tray, or “aligners.”
Clear aligner trays, such as Invisalign, are a faster, less expensive way to correct your smile. They are also less conspicuous.
Just like braces, aligners move your teeth a little at a time by putting slight pressure on them. They are created for you after your orthodontist creates impressions of your teeth. You will receive a new tray about once a week, designed to slowly change your smile.
The length of treatment depends on the patient and the degree of crookedness of the teeth. In most cases, treatment plans are shorter with aligners.
It’s not painless, but can be a more enjoyable path to boosting your confidence with a beautiful smile.
Want to see for yourself? Check out this evidence of Invisalign before and after crowding correction.
The cost of clear aligner trays can be anywhere from $2,500 to $5,500 depending on where you go and the length of treatment. You should be able to get a solid figure at your consultation.
A third option for correcting your teeth is to get a set of veneers. Veneers can be placed over all of your showing teeth, or only on select trouble teeth.
With veneers, you can have a perfect smile within days. Whether they will work for you depends on the degree of misalignment of your teeth and the condition of your bite. If these are mild, veneers might be a good option.
They’re more expensive than other methods, as just one tooth covered by a porcelain veneer can set you back between $925 and $2,500.
A solid set of veneers can last a decade or more, but they may need to be replaced over time. This is something to consider if the cost is a factor in your decision-making process.
You shouldn’t stop caring for your teeth after you straighten them. You should strive to maintain a healthy smile.
You should schedule regular checkups with your dentist and continue to maintain good hygiene such as brushing and flossing your teeth. You’re making a substantial investment to fix your crooked teeth, so don’t ruin them in the months and years afterwards.
Some experts recommend that you wear a retainer that is specially fitted to your mouth for a certain length of time after treatment. In most cases, you can start wearing the retainer only at night after a few weeks.
If you are interested in reading more about dental health, check out the dental health section of our blog for a wealth of knowledge.