The traditional orthodontist's office is no longer your only choice when it comes to treating crooked or misaligned teeth. And braces, with their brackets and wires, aren't your only orthodontic option either. Invisible aligners, custom-made dental trays worn in a series over time, can address a variety of straightening needs. And they're also available via telemedicine. Depending on your straightening needs, a custom at-home aligner kit could suit both your straightening needs and your lifestyle.
At-Home Teeth Straightening Options
In recent years, clear dental aligners have become a popular way to straighten teeth without braces or invasive procedures. Clear aligners are typically used to treat mild to moderately misaligned teeth. Your professional aligner provider will be able to make the right recommendations for your straightening needs.
Ways to straighten your teeth at home include the following:
- Orthodontist-supervised dental aligners: Many online aligner providers will ship both diagnostic materials and the aligners themselves directly to your door. You'll check in periodically with a supervising professional dentist or orthodontist without ever having to go to an office.
- Nighttime aligners: It is possible that your orthodontist or online dental aligner program could recommend wearing aligners only at night for minor corrections. Make sure you discuss the details thoroughly with your provider for an effective treatment.
- Removable retainers: For people who have already had braces or only need minor tooth or bite correction, a removable retainer might be an option. For many who qualify for this type of treatment, retainers are far more appealing than traditional braces.
While they are performed at home, DIY teeth-straightening techniques are not the same as at-home aligner kits and should not be attempted. The use of such techniques—which typically include rubber bands, string, and paper clips—is potentially dangerous and likely to cause more harm than good.
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