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How Can I Straighten Crowded Teeth?

Many people with crowded teeth are unhappy with the appearance of their smiles.  Crowded teeth can include teeth that are out of alignment, rotated, or overlapped with their neighbors.  Contrary to popular belief, straightening your teeth is not simply a cosmetic issue.  We will describe all of the how’s and why’s of straightening crooked teeth in this week’s blog.

Why Should I Straighten Crowded Teeth?

Most people think that straightening their teeth is only beneficial for their vanity.  Actually, teeth straightening makes your mouth healthier!  Crowded teeth are more difficult to clean than straight teeth, so people with crooked teeth tend to suffer from more cavities and gum disease than those with straight teeth.

Research studies investigating the bacterial makeup of dental plaque found that there is a difference between crowded teeth and straight teeth.  The strains of bacteria that collect on crooked teeth are stronger and more likely to cause gum disease than the strains collecting on straight teeth.  Having crooked teeth actually increases your risk for progressively worsening gum disease.

Because of the difference in plaque buildup, people with crowded teeth also tend to have more bad breath than those with straight teeth do.  This is due to both the amount of plaque buildup and the types of bacteria present on crowded teeth.

Crowding of the teeth also leads to higher chances of speech impediments and difficulties.  The position of the teeth affects the way our mouths form certain sounds, and those with severe crowding are likely to have issues that are difficult to overcome even with speech therapy.

Am I Too Old to Straighten Crowded Teeth?

No!

If your crowded teeth bother you or contribute to dental problems, you should consider your options for straightening them.  The older we get, the longer it takes to straighten teeth, so you should always undergo treatment as early as you are able to.

In fact, the majority of our patients using Invisalign to straighten their teeth are adults over the age of forty.  Do not let your age stop you from achieving the smile of your dreams.  Imagine all the years of a healthy beautiful smile that you have to enjoy!

What is the Best Way to Straighten Crowded Teeth?

There are several options when it comes to orthodontic treatment for straightening crowded teeth.  Traditional orthodontics uses brackets and wires to pull the teeth into the prescribed position.  Within traditional orthodontics, there are several options, including metal brackets, ceramic (tooth-colored) brackets, and lingual brackets (which affix to the inside of the teeth).  With brackets and wires attached to your teeth, you may experience dental hygiene challenges and increased plaque buildup.

An alternative treatment option to traditional braces is Invisalign’s clear aligner system.  Using clear plastic aligners that fit intimately over the teeth and move them to the prescribed position through precise pressure.  Aligners are removable, so you can brush and floss your teeth normally.  Because they are removable, though, the patient is responsible for the success of treatment, much more so than with traditional orthodontics, which you cannot remove.

Invisalign treatment includes a series of clear aligners, each of which moves the teeth in increments that are fractions of a millimeter.  This precise controlled movement makes Invisalign very predictable, safe, and successful.

How Long Will it Take to Straighten Crowded Teeth?

The length of orthodontic treatment depends on the severity of the crowding.  Teeth that have a high degree of overlapping and rotation will take longer to correct than those with only minor misalignment.  On average, comprehensive orthodontic treatment with Invisalign for moderately crowded teeth takes twelve to eighteen months.

The patient can lengthen that time by not wearing the aligners consistently for the requisite hours each day or by delaying Invisalign check visits with the dentist.  Some patients also have the option to speed up their treatment by diligently wearing aligners for seven to ten days each instead of two weeks.  This is typically the case for younger patients whose teeth move readily.

If you’d like to get an estimate of how long it would take you to straighten your crowded teeth, schedule an Invisalign consultation with Dr. Ann.  She can assess your specific crowding and give you an idea of what would be necessary to straighten them.  With her extensive Invisalign experience, she knows how to recognize orthodontic complications or complex issues that will take longer to correct.

More Questions about Crowded Teeth?

Call Designer Smiles today to schedule an orthodontic consultation with Dr. Ann.  She can answer all of your questions about straightening crowded teeth and help you get started on your journey to a beautiful, straightened smile.