What is the Best Way to Improve Your Teeth and Get the Smile You Want?

by Laura C. Jones

Having a beautiful smile is something that the majority of people want. After all, it’s one of the first things that gets noticed about you. First and foremost, a beautiful smile should start with brushing and flossing regularly because healthy teeth are the foundation of any way you choose to correct your smile. Here are some other options you have when it comes to getting the smile you want.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces have been used to straighten teeth for over a hundred years now, and they’re still the most common solution for most people to straighten their teeth— especially children and teens. They’re one of the most affordable ways to straighten teeth, which may be another reason why they’re still so widely used. Metal braces can take anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours to install, and require follow-up dentist visits every 6-10 weeks.

As effective and inexpensive as metal braces are, they’re not the most cosmetically appealing way to straighten teeth. Even when they’re taken off, many still have to wear a retainer for a while to help keep the teeth in place. Still, they’re highly effective at doing the job they’re meant to do, and that’s straightening the teeth.

Incognito/Lingual Braces

For those that need to straighten their teeth but don’t necessarily want the whole world to know, lingual braces may be an option. Also known as “incognito hidden braces”, lingual braces are metal braces that are installed behind the teeth rather than in front of them. It’s a popular choice among adults who need to straighten their teeth and want to do so in a discreet way, especially if they’re not considered a good candidate for invisible aligners.

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to lingual braces. First of all, they’re much more expensive than traditional braces because not many orthodontists have the special skills required to install braces behind the teeth. Second, they may cause some tongue discomfort and some people may even experience a temporary speech impediment, such as a lisp. Still, for some people, this is a better option than traditional braces.

Ceramic/Clear Braces

Ceramic braces, also known as clear braces, are another “incognito” way to straighten your teeth. They work just like metal braces, except that there’s far less metal and ceramic material is used instead. The ceramic material is tooth-colored, so they’re not as easy to see as traditional braces. They’re also less painful than metal braces but are almost just as durable.

However, there are a few downsides to ceramic braces as well. They’re slightly larger and more expensive than metal braces, and they also stain easily. They also can’t withstand the same amount of pressure as metal braces, though they are more durable than people may believe.

Invisible Aligners

Invisible aligners are becoming an increasingly popular way to straighten teeth, and it’s also the preferred method by the majority of people. This is because it’s the most discreet way to straighten teeth— no one will know that you’re wearing these types of “braces”. The invisible trays used to straighten your teeth will be changed out every week or so as your teeth shift into the desired position.

The most obvious downside to this method of straightening teeth is that not everyone is a good candidate for invisible aligners. They work best for mild to moderate misalignments, so they’re not effective for those with complex issues. They must also be worn for at least 20 hours a day, taken out when eating/drinking/brushing, and must also be cleaned regularly.

False Teeth

False teeth include options like dentures, implants, and veneers. Like metal braces, false teeth have come a long way since they were first introduced, and aren’t as bulky or uncomfortable as they once were. This option may be best for those experiencing the following issues:

  • Missing teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Cracked teeth
  • Broken teeth

Temporary veneers may be good braces, traditional veneers, denture, and dental implant alternatives for many people. They snap onto your natural teeth, covering all of the dental issues listed above, including crooked teeth. They are much more affordable than traditional veneers, braces, and other types of false teeth options. You can also eat, drink, and speak normally while wearing them.

Overall, the best way to correct your smile depends on both your desires and what’s possible for you. If you don’t mind wearing metal braces, then this is a good and affordable option. However, if you want a more discreet way to correct your smile, look into some of these other options.

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