Straight teeth are not only beautiful, but they can make you feel better. That is because aligned teeth hit more evenly, are easier to keep clean, and help the joints function better. There are also different avenues to achieve straight teeth depending on age and desired esthetics.
Young people from approximately 6-12 can benefit from appliance therapy. These appliances can create space and make the bones that surround the teeth more ideal. By creating space and correcting cross bites when permanent teeth have not all come in, they can erupt into a more ideal location. Most of these appliances can be cemented in or removable depending on the patient and parent’s preference. They can also have cool colors, designs, or there are glow in the dark options. The goal of this phase of orthodontics is to decrease or sometimes even eliminate the need for braces.
Braces are used to guide the teeth into ideal locations. Because brackets are wires are hard to clean around, it is very important to have both excellent home care and routine visits. I like to have cleaning appointments coincide with orthodontic visits so that we can really get all surfaces clean. Just like with appliances, cool colors can make this a fun experience.
Invisalign is an excellent option if esthetics are of concern while straightening. The trays are clear and easy to wear. Patients are able to remove the trays to eat and brush which helps keep teeth healthier. With this option, patients are able to see a digital before and after of their alignment.