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3 Ways to Straighten Teeth Without Braces

By WebMD Connect to Care Staff
You probably know that braces help to straighten teeth, but they’re not your only option. Here are three other ways to straighten teeth without braces.

There are many reasons to straighten your teeth. Properly aligning your teeth can help to correct overbites that may cause pain as well as decrease your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath, Tiffanie L. Garrison-Jeter, DMD, a cosmetic dentist at Definition Dental and Wellness Spa, tells WebMD Connect to Care. While metal braces are the traditional route to a brighter smile, here are three other ways to straighten teeth without braces.

Dental Aligners

Dental aligners are made of a thermoplastic material that feels like a thinner version of a mouth guard, Garrison-Jeter says. Thermoplastic undergoes a heating process to allow for molding, while the cooling process solidifies its shape. Dental aligners work by applying pressure to specific teeth to move them into the desired position. If you're using dental aligners, your provider will typically tell you to wear your devices for at least 22 hours a day to ensure the success of the straightening process. You'll usually only take your aligners off for eating and brushing your teeth.

Dental aligners may also be a convenient way to move your teeth. “With clear dental aligners, most people will hardly know that you have them on, and there are no dietary restrictions because you take them out to eat,” Garrison-Jeter says.

Dental aligners may also help promote better oral hygiene in comparison to braces. With braces, “you can have enamel damage, staining from the enamel, cavities, and other problems," Hilary Dalton, DMD, MS, a periodontist at Dalton Dental, tells WebMD Connect to Care. "But when you have a clear aligner, you can take it out and clean your teeth in between meals and floss. This decreases your chance of future issues with your enamel. So, I think that’s another reason to wear them,” Dalton adds. 

Crowns and Veneers

Crowns and veneers are dental restorative methods that cover either a partial or a whole tooth. According to Garrison-Jeter, a crown or veneer is a better option than a dental aligner for people who want to fix the gap in their front teeth.

“We do put crowns and veneers on a lot of our adult patients that want that cosmetic Sofia Vergara big smile. They might choose this option because they have some crowding in the front, their teeth have been ground down, or because teeth are missing or misaligned. As long as it’s not extremely complicated, this can be done,” Dalton says.

Dental Retainers

Dental retainers are custom-made mouth devices that help keep your teeth in alignment and usually maintain straight teeth after braces. According to Cleveland Clinic, a removable retainer can help fix minor orthodontic issues.

Start your journey to a more confident smile today!

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