Teeth Straightening Options

Teeth straightening can correct malocclusions such as crooked teeth, underbites, overbites, cross bites and gaps between the teeth (diastema). Straighter teeth are easier to brush, which reduces plaque and gum disease risk.

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There are several options for straightening teeth in adults, including traditional braces, clear aligners and orthopedic expansion. A consultation with an orthodontist is the best way to determine which option is right for you.

Getting Started

When teeth are crooked, they create more nooks and crannies for bacteria to hide in. This increases the risk of gum disease, tooth decay and other oral health problems. Straightening them also makes it easier to brush and floss, which further reduces your chances of cavities and gum disease.

Crooked teeth can also cause issues such as an uneven bite, which makes chewing difficult and may even contribute to bruxism, a condition where you grind your teeth at night. Teeth straightening can help correct these issues and make you feel more confident about your smile.

Most solutions for teeth straightening focus on fixing multiple or all of your teeth. However, it’s also possible to fix just one crooked tooth. There are several ways to do so, including braces, aligners and veneers. However, it’s important to consult a dentist before trying to fix your own crooked teeth. Self-treatment could damage the root of your tooth or put too much pressure on it, which may lead to a fracture. In addition, improper tooth movement can increase the risk of gum disease, which is linked to heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Braces

A rite of passage for many teenagers, braces help fix crooked teeth and misaligned bites by gently shifting the teeth into position. A typical orthodontic treatment includes stainless steel braces, wires, bands and ligatures (small rubber rings or fine wires) to hold the arch wire in place. Braces are often made of clear or tooth-colored materials and can be less visible than in the past.

Crooked teeth and overlapping teeth can make cleaning your teeth more difficult, increasing the likelihood of cavities and gum disease. Straightening the teeth creates more room for each tooth and improves the overall health of your gums.

Adjusting the positioning of crooked teeth also helps with speech. Crowded or overlapping teeth can cause word slurring and mumbles. Realigning the teeth can eliminate this problem and make it easier to pronounce words clearly. Straight teeth are also healthier, as they’re more easily cleaned and brushed. This can help reduce the risk of periodontal (gum) disease, which can occur when bacteria eat away at the bones around the teeth. Straighter teeth are also easier to floss, which can help prevent the buildup of plaque that leads to cavities.

Aligners

Aligners are a popular option for those seeking a more subtle way to straighten their teeth. Unlike traditional braces, which can leave a patient with sore cheeks from the sharp wires and metal brackets, clear aligners are made of smooth plastic that is more comfortable for extended wear.

They work by gradually applying pressure to the teeth, shifting them into a more straight position over time. This can help correct crooked, overcrowded, or gapped teeth and even address bite issues like overbites, underbites, or crossbites.

Many adults choose to get their teeth straightened using aligners because they want to feel more confident in their smile. Additionally, straighter teeth can be easier to keep clean and can reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

The process starts with a full arch impressions of your teeth, which will be used to create a digital model. The model will then be used to design a set of clear trays that will shift your teeth into their final positions over the course of your treatment. Each tray is typically worn for a week or two before being replaced with the next in the series.

Veneers

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that cover the front of teeth to conceal imperfections. They’re used to treat small gaps, correct the color of a tooth, and camouflage crooked teeth.

However, they don’t actually straighten teeth in the same way as braces or aligners do. This is because veneers only apply to the surface of the teeth, not the root. Your dentist will need to assess your bite and determine whether addressing alignment issues with veneers would be feasible.

Crooked teeth can make it harder to clean them, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. They can also affect your confidence and self-esteem. Veneers can help mask crooked teeth by covering them with a natural-looking, brighter smile.

They can also be used to correct uneven smiles, such as those with a gummy smile that show too much gum tissue. They can balance the appearance of misshapen teeth by making smaller teeth look bigger, and they can hide chips that could pose a dental health threat by trapping bacteria and food particles.

Lumineers

Like veneers, Lumineers are a cosmetic dental procedure that corrects a number of problems. However, Lumineers don’t require much preparation or drilling and are more reversible than veneers. They are also semi-translucent, making them blend seamlessly with your natural teeth and helping them look bright and healthy. Lumineers can help fix discolored or stained teeth that aren’t responding to teeth whitening treatments, close gaps between teeth and repair teeth that are chipped, worn down or broken.

Lumineers are also great for people with slightly crooked teeth who want to straighten their smile without braces. Patients with more severe crooked teeth should seek treatment with orthodontics instead. Additionally, Lumineers can’t cover up extremely dark stains so they aren’t suitable for people with severely stained or discolored teeth.

Lumineers are thin porcelain coverings that are used to repair and improve the appearance of your teeth. The process involves two painless appointments in our Metairie office. During your first appointment, we’ll take impressions of your teeth to ensure that the Lumineers will fit properly. During your second visit, we’ll attach the Lumineers and you’ll be able to enjoy a brighter, straighter smile.