Why More Adults Than Ever Are Choosing to Straighten Their Teeth
Do you know why more and more adults are choosing to straighten their teeth? It’s not just about appearance, although that is one factor that is causing adults to seek help for crooked smiles. Having a misaligned bite or cramped, crooked teeth can cause tooth decay and other dental health issues.
Crooked teeth not only detract from your overall appearance, they can lead to tooth decay, difficulty chewing, and other dental problems. The majority of people who have naturally crooked teeth address the problem in childhood or adolescence, but the results are not always permanent and crookedness may not develop at all until well into adulthood when wisdom teeth push other teeth out of alignment.
Braces are a common and socially acceptable method for straightening teeth in teenagers, but most adults feel uncomfortable and self-conscious wearing the very visible devices, even when so-called “clear” braces are used. Fortunately, braces are no longer the only way to achieve a perfect smile.
Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners, much like retainers to gradually move your teeth into the proper position. The entire process can take six months to two years. Each aligner is used for two weeks then you move on to the next aligner. Some people use as many as 60 aligners in the course of straightening their teeth. Using impressions of your teeth and computer imaging the aligners are created to precisely and gradually adjust the position of your teeth in very tiny increments until they reach the proper position.
If you want a quick fix, porcelain veneers are the way to go. A thin shell of porcelain is crafted and bonded to the front of your teeth. Porcelain veneers look exactly and you can feel it that it’s your natural teeth. They can cover several small imperfections at once, making teeth appear straight, covering chips, cracks, and gaps, and are an alternative to whitening. Porcelain veneers are often more appropriate than straightening when teeth appear crooked due to flaws such as chips and gaps.
Why correct a crooked smile?
You may think that’s a silly question, but there is more to it than just looks. Crooked teeth leave gaps and crevices which are hard to clean properly and can lead to tooth decay and serious dental problems. A tooth or teeth that are out of alignment can make biting and chewing painful, causing you to make adjustments in how you chew, eventually leading to a painful and damaging condition called temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ). Of course, most people do want a smile that looks beautiful. Straightening your teeth can boost your self-esteem and can even improve your standing in the workplace.
Two paths: What is your goal?
Before you make a decision about straightening your teeth, you must know what you want to get out of it. Is your main goal to correct misalignment or is it to have teeth that appear straight?
Invisalign requires some commitment and work on your part, but the result is a straight, beautiful smile for the rest of your life. Overall, combining Invisalign with any other procedures you may need such as whitening and caps, is the most thorough and complete method of creating a beautiful smile.
It is well worth the investment of your time and money, but expensive and time-consuming dental work is not appropriate for everyone. Many patients dread and fear the process of moving their teeth, and choose porcelain veneers as a quick way to make teeth appear straight.
Straightening is usually just a piece of the puzzle. Veneers can accomplish several things in one proce dure. If your teeth are very crooked you may not be a good candidate for porcelain veneers, but you should talk to your cosmetic dentist and ask before you assume that your teeth are too crooked for this method.