If you’re born with perfectly aligned teeth that sprout as a child and into your adult years, you’re among the lucky few. In 1998, dental data showed that only 35% of the population didn’t benefit from braces.
More recent data shows that four million Americans wear braces. Among them, 25% are adults. Thus, children represent the majority of braces patients. Pre-adulthood is the best time to straighten teeth. The gums are softer, making the shifting of teeth easier and less uncomfortable.
Signs that a person requires braces include an obvious overbite, underbite, or severely misaligned teeth. If the teeth alignment causes daily cleaning issues, it’s best to seek help from an orthodontist.
Teeth cleaning obstructions lead to plaque build-up, cavities, and periodontal disease. In time, these occurrences lead to painful dental surgery that requires teeth realignment anyway.
Wearing braces brings a set of concerns, namely people are afraid of teasing at their expense. It’s brutal during the teenage years and adult years. The good news is that there are other ways to strengthen teeth.
To ensure that the alternatives are a viable option, consult with your dentist first. The success of an alternative depends on the severity of the case. A dentist examines the alignment. When necessary, they make a referral to an orthodontist.
Keep in mind that in 2021, wearing braces to straighten teeth isn’t mandatory anymore; alternatives exist. In the early 2000s, some orthodontists already employed behind-the-teeth braces.
The following are five surprising ways to straighten teeth without braces.
A retainer is a dental instrument that retains the teeth in place. It’s employed after an orthodontist removes the patient’s braces. They wear the retainer for at least one year afterward. If the case is severe, the orthodontist asks the patient to wear it longer.
In some cases, it’s an alternative to braces. To find out if you quality, consult with your dentist first. For example, if an overbite is slight, wearing a retainer for a year or two may make a difference.
2. Dental Veneers
Technology entered the dental field several years ago. More efficient dental cleanings and more beautiful teeth became the result. The number of people who qualify for braces shows that most people’s teeth have at least one flaw.
Most people can live with tiny flaws. However, when the flaws become a cleaning obstruction, it’s a different story.
Cosmetic dentists place dental veneers over a patient’s teeth to cover flaws. They take impressions first. Then, the veneers arrive. Before placing them, the dentist grinds the existing structure.
Dental veneers cover imperfections including slight misalignments. In addition, the veneers remain white for a bright smile.
Veneers provide a surprising way to fix crooked teeth. The technology allows dentists to re-shape them before placing the veneers.
3. Invisible Aligners
Technology brought forth another alternative to braces, invisible aligners. The commercials appear on late-night TV and the internet. Order a kit for a fee. You take your impressions and send them to the lab.
For a monthly fee, individuals receive a new set of invisible aligners for several months. The aligners arrive until the teeth reach the new intended alignment. Results vary like anything else. However, it’s an alternative to braces.
JS Dental Lab offers a similar process for night mouthguards. They mail you a kit. You take an impression of your teeth and mail it back. In many cases, the night guard ships in 72 hours. In addition, JS Dental Lab offers educational resources, such as how to keep your mouthguard clean.
Invisalign is the original alternative to braces. The system uses clear aligners that shift teeth to their intended place without wires and brackets. The process works for kids and adults.
Qualified candidates visit an Invisalign-certified dentist who takes their mouth’s impression. The patient returns for a bonding appointment. During the appointment, the dentist ensures that the first set of aligners fit properly.
Surprisingly, Invisalign shifts teeth faster than braces. Thus, the process can last one year in some cases instead of two.
5. Cosmetic Dental Surgery
Cosmetic dental surgery is another alternative. This one involves more heavy lifting from the dentist and patient. After an accident, it’s the best solution for fixing missing and misaligned teeth.
Dental professionals employ several tools such as dental implants and crowns. Before starting the procedure, the surgeon takes X-rays and visually inspects the patient’s mouth.
After reaching an agreement on the procedure, the dentist starts the work. The result is often a smile that helps the patient radiate confidence. Plus, it’s brighter if the patient picks the whitest shades.
Living with a smile that you’re not happy with is no longer necessary in 2021. It’s possible to fix imperfections without braces. Dental technology provides solutions and results that transform a smile. Dental surgery is another option. To find the best solution, consult with your dentist.