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Teeth StraighteningMcLean, VA

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Why do people choose to straighten their teeth?

A bright, aligned smile is a coveted feature for any teeth straightening client. Crooked smiles can make daily activities like eating and speaking more difficult, not to mention dealing a blow to self esteem. There are many reasons an individual may consider orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth. For the most part, the decision to start on a teeth straightening journey begins with wanting to improve bite functionality, enhance the appearance of the smile and boost confidence.

Functional vs. cosmetic

Functional reasons to straighten teeth

Often, teeth do not emerge into the correct position when they first erupt. This misalignment can cause issues by interfering with the way the jaws and teeth work. Teeth that are extremely crooked or misaligned can cause all sorts of problems.

A misaligned bite, medically known as malocclusion, is mainly caused by childhood habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. However, the way the teeth grow in can also be dependent upon hereditary factors. Usually, parents with crooked teeth will pass that trait onto offspring.

There are generally three types of malocclusion: overbite, underbite and crossbite. When left untreated, a misaligned bite can contribute to poor oral health over time. Both the functionality and appearance of the teeth are threatened by an unchecked misaligned bite. Cosmetic issues associated with altered facial shape are affected by malocclusion as well.

Difficulties eating, speaking and a condition known as TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) are all issues caused by malocclusion. TMJ can cause lockjaw and jaw pain, along with restricted movement of the joint. A bite that does not fit together correctly also puts the teeth at a higher risk for cavities and gum disease due to the heightened exposure of the teeth and soft tissue.

Cosmetic reasons to straighten teeth

Sometimes, teeth just do not look right. A common complaint is teeth that work correctly but are slightly out of place. The front teeth are the first to be seen when a person displays a toothy grin. Even if one of these teeth is crooked, it can make a big difference in the appearance of your smile.

Having gapped front teeth could be another reason someone may search for teeth straightening options. Food can easily get stuck between these teeth, which can be unsightly. This also puts the teeth and surrounding gums in question at a higher risk for tooth decay, as food particles tend to stick around in the space between.

Crowded teeth can cause some functionality issues, but mild cases are usually just a nuisance. When teeth are all pushed together in the front, they can give the illusion of a gnarled smile or grimace.

A straight smile can do more than help chew your food. It may be able to help you appear more professional, leading to better job opportunities and making it easier for one to create lasting personal connections with others.

Thankfully, these issues and more can be remedied by a variety of orthodontic treatments.

Teeth straightening options

Metal braces

Benefits: The most traditional option, metal braces consist of metal brackets that attach to each tooth. The top brackets are connected by a wire, as are the separated bottom brackets. A fairly inexpensive orthodontic treatment, metal braces offer a quick and effective way to straighten teeth in patients young and old.

Older versions of metal braces were bulky and uncomfortable. Improvements in modern orthodontics today have made these braces much smaller and therefore more comfortable. An added bonus, metal braces are able to successfully straighten teeth faster, thanks to advanced orthodontic technology.

Disadvantages: Although they are a great choice for someone who does not care about the appearance of their dental appliance, metal braces are quite noticeable. Parents of younger patients tend to opt for metal braces since they are often less expensive than other options. One fun feature of metal braces is the option to choose different colors for each bracket.

However, most adults are choosing less apparent teeth straightening devices. Less noticeable appliances like clear braces and clear aligners better fit into the lifestyle of most adult clients. With braces, the client will not be able to eat certain foods and will need to take special care of their teeth during this time.

Metal braces can end up costing a bit more when taking into account the tools you will need to buy in order to keep them clean. Flossing lassos and other braces-friendly tools like specialized toothbrushes can increase the price and effort for metal braces.

Clear braces

Benefits: Clear braces are the same shape and size as metal braces, except the brackets are made from tooth-colored ceramic material. This, combined with a thinner, naturally colored wire, makes them blend into teeth. Ceramic braces are able to straighten teeth just as quickly and effectively as traditional metal braces.

Disadvantages: Brackets do tend to discolor over time if not cared for correctly. These once-clear braces can take on a yellow hue during the course of your orthodontic treatment, making them more noticeable and appear dirty. Clear braces are also a little more expensive since the materials used are more tailored.

Clear aligners

Benefits: Clear aligners consist of a series of personalized plastic trays replaced every two weeks. These aligners gradually alter the smile until all teeth are in the right position, just like braces. Unlike braces, clear aligners are removable, and each custom set provides a small adjustment toward a straight smile.

These aligners work great for the adult on the go who is not looking for a quick fix to their orthodontics needs. Since they are removable, the client is able to eat and drink whatever they want. Invisible aligners are widely undetectable, so the client can go through their day without noticeable braces.

Disadvantages: Clear aligners tend to take longer than traditional braces to complete treatment since plastic is a more malleable material than metal or ceramic. Because these aligners are great for cosmetic purposes, they are a bit more expensive than braces. Clear aligners are only available to adult patients.

Bottom line

Your orthodontic journey begins when you want to straighten your teeth. There are many options that can work with your lifestyle.

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Novel Smiles is located at 8180 Greensboro Dr Ste 100 McLean, VA 22102.

(703) 942-8882