Have you ever noticed a change in your teeth positioning? Are you unhappy with your appearance of smile because your teeth are not properly aligned? Due to the advancement in orthodontic procedures, we are lucky to have several options available to solve various orthodontic issues.

The available options for alignment of teeth may vary from conventional metal braces to more advanced invisible aligners. The orthodontist may guide you through various teeth straightening options keeping in view the patient’s preference and patient-centered best available option coordinated to your oral assessments for best results. 

Different options of teeth alignment:

Invisalign: These are clear and removable plastic aligners. These Invisalign aligners or plastic trays can fix several orthodontic issues such as crooked teeth, malocclusion, and the gap between. These aligners or trays fit around the contour of the teeth and can be worn all day long except for chewing and cleaning purposes. 

Despite all the benefits of the Invisalign, there is still one major drawback that is cost. Luckily, in this day and age there are many affordable Invisalign alternatives available for people seeking to get the perfect smile. 

Metal braces: The conventional way to straighten teeth are the metal braces. It is considered as the cheapest way compared to other advanced methods. This method uses metal brackets, elastics and a removable wire molded through them, that moves the teeth in the desired positions. Changes to the wire and elastics can be made at follow-ups. 

Transparent or tooth-colored braces: These work exactly as conventional braces except ceramic brackets are used instead of metal ones. These are unnoticeable because of the clear visual aspect, compared to the metal ones. 

Lingual braces: Unlike metal braces, lingual braces are placed in the opposite direction on the teeth (visible to the outside). 

Benefits of teeth alignment procedures

With the increase in the popularity of the term Hollywood smile, a great number of individuals of varied ages opt for various options available for a great smile, teeth alignment being one of them.

An aesthetically pleasing smile can do wonders in many ways:

Great aesthetics and self-esteem: The overall appearance of an individual consists of many factors, a beautiful smile being one of them. Straightening teeth not only beautifies the facial appearance also helps in building confidence and boosts self-esteem to greater extents. 

Improved oral hygiene: Generally, misaligned or crooked teeth contribute to the improper cleaning of the gums and teeth by making it difficult to clean the interproximal areas. This improper cleaning leads to the inflammation and change in color of the healthy gums from pale pink to bright red (in most cases) which eventually may lead to periodontal diseases if left untreated. And fewer chances of getting cavities as well. 

Straighten teeth provide a platform for individuals to clean impacted food, debris and plaque interproximally and around the teeth properly. In this case, the gums around the teeth fit snugly hence fewer chances of bacterial invasion and decrease in the inflammation of the gums. Healthy gums are not only aesthetically pleasing but it is the manifestation of a healthy mouth as well.       

Decreases in regular tooth wear: There is a great chance for the crowded teeth to rub against each other, in occlusion or upon chewing. This rubbing factor leads to excessive loss of enamel from the tooth known as tooth wear. The loss of enamel from the tooth provides the bacteria to infect the underlying tissues of the tooth such as dentine and pulp. Once the dental pulp is infected a tooth may be subjected to more serious issues such as irreversible pulpitis (a non-reversible form of infection in the dental pulp). 

Repair jaw problems: Our jawbones rest when our teeth meet properly when we bite or close our mouth. When our teeth do not occlude properly (in case of malocclusion), our jawbones bear greater pressure. This pressure from malocclusion can lead to pain in the head and neck region. Straightening teeth resolves such problems associated with the jaw.

Overall a healthy body: Our mouth is a window of our body. Anything that we eat or drink goes to our bodies through our mouths. The improper cleaning of misaligned teeth leads to the increase of bacterial count in the mouth. These bacteria can travel to different parts of the body such as heart, lungs, and brain contributing to serious health conditions such as heart diseases, pneumonia, stroke, and diabetes. 

Pros: Aligned teeth are easy to clean between the teeth and the gums which were once hard to reach and clean. A healthy and beautiful smile hence a healthy lifestyle. Increasing one’s self-esteem is another factor. Improve chewing functions hence a healthy body and mind.  

Cons: Teeth alignment procedures are quite expensive, mild to moderate pain may be associated with the treatment in the initial phases, daily cleaning could get a little difficult if not guided properly and sometimes it gets a little late than the expected time for the completion of the treatment. 

We can not deny the results of a successful orthodontic treatment, but the best results for all the teeth alignment procedure depends on multiple factors. E.g. Whether the patient is mentally prepared for the treatment or not? Is the dentist a certified professional for this particular treatment? Is the patient taking meticulous oral hygiene regimens? Is the patient regular with the follow-ups? All these contribute to the overall success of the treatment in the long run.

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