How to Straighten Teeth Without Braces
While some dentists may recommend braces to straighten teeth, not everyone fancies traditional dental braces. Fortunately, for some, there are other ways of straightening out teeth without braces.
Dental problems that can be corrected without needing braces
Crowding causes teeth to look slightly crooked. In such a case, we highly recommend retainers – these are simple, removable braces that can correct mild problems in tooth position
Malocclusion is a condition in which your bite is out of alignment. This issue can be corrected using appliances that can adjust your jaw position.
A narrow upper jaw (underdeveloped palate)
People with this issue can use expanders to widen their palate, allowing teeth to move into their proper position.
Selecting the best treatment option
Before deciding any treatment, we highly recommend that you consult your dentist or orthodontist. Depending on your orthodontic problem, your dentist should be able to select the best solution to straighten out your teeth without braces.
Here are a few treatment options:
These provide an almost invisible alternative to braces. They are recommended for correcting less severe dental issues even though this technology has improved significantly since its introduction in the early 2000s. These aligners are removable and more comfortable than braces. However, if they are not worn for the recommended 20+ hours a day they may not be effective.
Related Reading: Invisalign Braces Treatment In Malta
Patients have two options;
- Fixed retainers: These are attached with dental cement to the inner surface of your teeth to prevent your teeth from moving out of place over time. This helps to prevent alterations in the patient’s bite as well as keep teeth straight. Fixed retainers provide the perfect long-term solution. However, it is imperative to note that you will not be able to remove them yourself for relief or repair.
- Removable retainers: These retainers are recommended for patients looking to correct minor imperfections in their smile. They can be removed for special occasions and relief.
Various appliances can be used to straighten out teeth.
This is used to correct jaw discrepancies. It allows the lower jaw to develop in an outward direction so that it meets the upper jaw to correct the bite. It also helps the patient achieve a straight, perfect smile.
The headgear mainly corrects an excessive overjet. An excessive overjet is when the front upper teeth protrude much further than normal with respect to the lower front teeth. The headgear places backward pressure on these teeth and jaw, preventing or limiting further jaw growth and teeth protrusion and allowing the lower jaw to develop normally and get into position simultaneously. However, it can take time to see satisfactory results in correcting malocclusions. Additionally, this appliance is not very discrete.
These are recommended for children whose mouths are too small to accommodate adult teeth. The dentist inserts a palatal expander into their mouth to widen the arch of the upper teeth, creating enough space for the adult teeth to grow naturally into the correct position.
Dental veneers are porcelain caps that a dentist places on top of a tooth with little or no tooth reduction. They are used to close or reduce gaps between teeth and to correct discoloured, mildly crowded or fractured teeth.
Dental Cosmetic Contouring (bonding and gum lifting)
Popularly known as tooth reshaping, this treatment requires the dentist to sand a tooth or use tooth-coloured resin to reshape your teeth. Cosmetic contouring is recommended for adult-age patients since it permanently contours the tooth. It is used mainly to shorten long teeth or correct slightly chipped, cracked or crooked teeth.
How to Prevent Crooked Teeth
Avoid sleeping or lying for long hours on your stomach
Typically, regular inner pressure on teeth can cause crowding and overlapping of teeth. Sleeping or lying on your stomach can cause this condition as it produces a substantial amount of inward stress on teeth. To prevent teeth from possible movement, we highly recommend that you sleep on your side or your back.
Avoid leaning your jaw on your palm
When people spend long hours at their desks working or studying they are highly likely to lean their face on their hand for long periods, which causes changes in tooth position. This is due to the continuous pressure on the jaw exerted by your hand. To prevent this, try to correct your posture by ensuring you are sitting upright and not rolled back towards your lower spine to prevent neck fatigue which causes you to rest your head on your hand.
Thumb sucking is a common habit in children that exerts outward pressure on their mouth, causing forward inclination of the upper teeth and also an open bite. While not common in adults, other oral fixations cause outward stress like chewing on pens, using straws, and even blowing bubble gum. If you have any of these habits, try to break them as early as possible before they change your teeth alignment.
Close missing teeth gaps
Although losing teeth is normal for children, when lost in adulthood, tooth loss can cause drifting, rotation or lengthening of the nearby or opposing teeth. The gaps left after the adult teeth are lost results in more pressure on other teeth due to imbalanced force dispersion when chewing. This, in turn, forces them to shift from their original position and become crooked. To prevent this, make sure that the gaps created by the lost teeth are closed using orthodontics, or other dental procedures such as dental implants.
Extract wisdom teeth
If you already have crowded teeth, the eruption of wisdom teeth may contribute to further significant shifting of your teeth. In other cases, your wisdom teeth may grow in a different place other than they should. In these cases, we highly recommend that you have them removed by your dentist when the time is right.
Finding The Best Dentist/ Orthodontist
Once you realise your teeth are moving out of place, it is vital that you see an orthodontist or dentist to help prevent further repositioning. Here are a few tips to help you find the best orthodontist or dentist for you;
Do your research
When looking for a dentist and orthodontist, it is important that you work with one who has good credentials, training and experience. Find testimonials of their work, and make a shortlist of your chosen few.
Tell the dentist what exactly you want to fix with your teeth
Once you find a potential dentist or orthodontist, book an appointment to discuss the treatment options. Let them know the exact issue you would like fixed. Based on your problem, the dentist/orthodontist will be in the best position to let you know whether you need to have braces, or if you can use alternative treatments to achieve the desired results.
Get another opinion
Before settling on a single treatment plan, we recommend that you get a second, third and even further opinions, especially in cases where the dentist recommends that you have your teeth removed or if your situation is complicated. This will help you reach the best solution and give you an opportunity to choose the dentist you are most comfortable working with and at an affordable price.
Get initial procedures complete before fully committing to a treatment plan
After choosing a preferred dentist to work with, they should schedule a consultation. During this consultation, the dentist will begin by taking a dental impression of your teeth and a panoramic x-ray to determine the best treatment options to correct your smile. They will then explain in detail the various treatment options to enable you to make the best decision.
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Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.