If your teeth need straightening, braces are the only solution, right?
Most people with crooked teeth probably think that they need braces to solve this dental issue, but that’s not always the case. Braces should be viewed as a sort of last resort for tooth conditions that aren’t fixable.
Today, we’re going to tell you how to straighten teeth without braces because it is possible and you can sometimes do it without a dentist’s help. Of course, it depends on the situation you have in your mouth, so read on and see if you can course-correct your teeth by yourself.
How to Straighten Teeth Without Braces
There are a few common conditions that are fixable without the costly and time-consuming help of braces. If you’ve got limited overcrowding, other malocclusions, or an underdeveloped palate that is making your teeth crooked, you can fix them with the help of retainers and other, less-invasive devices.
Limited overcrowding is when your teeth are slightly crooked because they’re crowding in too small a space within your mouth. It’s the most common condition that (often) requires braces, but that’s not always necessary.
Many cases of limited overcrowding can be solved with a fixed or removable retainer. A fixed retainer is mounted behind your teeth with luting cement to prevent them from moving for a period of time. A removable retainer has the same function as a fixed one, but you can take it out when it becomes uncomfortable.
Overcrowding is a form of malocclusion, which is any kind of misalignment of the teeth. Other forms are crossbites, over and underbites, and open bites. Depending on which class of malocclusion you’ve got, you may be forced to get braces or Invisalign to get straighter teeth.
In more minor cases, retainers will once again come into play. In class 2 or 3 malocclusions, it might be more beneficial to insert a device to adjust the jaw.
Sometimes you’ll need to adjust your palate to make room for your teeth. This is most common with children whose jaws are too small for their permanent teeth. In the old days, an orthodontist would perform an extraction to accommodate the teeth, but now we have something called rapid palatal expansion.
With RPE, a device is fitted into the mouth that gradually expands the palate (roof of the mouth) so that it can fit those permanent teeth that are coming in. The process usually takes between a few weeks and a few months to complete.
Take Care of Your Teeth
While retainers and other devices are meant to help you avoid getting braces, sometimes it’s the only way. Going down the path of learning how to straighten teeth without braces should only happen with the help of a dental professional.
Most people associate having straight teeth with being more confident about their appearance, but there are practical benefits as well. The biggest is that it’s much easier to catch food and particles when you’re brushing. Crooked teeth can also put pressure on your jaw and lead to chronic headaches.
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