7 Teeth Straightening Options: How To Correct Your Smile

Woman putting her clear aligners

A bright, confident smile is something that many people desire. While traditional orthodontic treatments like braces or aligners have been used for decades to straighten teeth, different and new technologies are now available. These dental innovations allow people to straighten their teeth from the comfort of their own homes.

At-home teeth straightening kits have been gaining popularity in recent years, but does that make them safe to use?

In our article, we’ll delve into all the different kinds of teeth straightening practices and treatments out there and get to grips with whether or not they can be trusted.


How Do Teeth Even Move?


When it comes to teeth movement, there’s a whole scientific process that occurs. This is because when orthodontists fit braces to a patient’s teeth, light pressure is applied to the tissues and cells in your mouth to slowly align your teeth.

Orthodontists also use different treatments like braces and Invisalign to open spaces for patients’ teeth to move by using methods such as breaking down and building bone back again.

Over a period of time, these methods assist in successfully pushing your teeth into their desired position, creating alignment and a picture-perfect smile.

Whilst these methods are proven to be effective with tooth movement, they can all vary depending on the severity of each patient’s teeth condition.


How Long Do Treatments Take To Straighten Teeth?


The length of your orthodontic treatment will depend on the severity of your teeth’s condition. For most cases, treatment is usually two years. However, for severe cases, treatment can last up to three or more years.

Mild Severity


With mild teeth severity, patients may have minor teeth misalignments which are also known as malocclusions. These may include small overbiting issues, with there being a difference in the size of the upper and lower jaws.

Usually, these cases are treated with orthodontists placing rubber bands onto braces or Invisalign to help align the structure of your jaw.

Very Severe 


In very severe cases, the irregular positioning of your teeth can affect the structure of your jaw and face. Severe cases can include crossbites, crowding, open bites, protrusions, spacing and underbites.

Orthodontists usually recommend starting patients off with traditional braces to help gradually transition your teeth’s structure with the help of Invisalign later on in your orthodontic treatment.


7 Common Teeth Straightening Methods


If you’re considering trying to straighten your teeth there are multiple methods, such as: 

1. Traditional metal braces:


This common type of braces consist of metal brackets and wires, working together to gradually shift teeth into their desired positions.

  • Advantages: Effective for complex cases and widely used for all age groups.
  • Considerations: Maintenance and adjustments are necessary, but advancements have made them more comfortable and visually appealing.

2. Invisalign clear aligners:


Invisalign utilises a series of clear, custom-made aligners that are virtually invisible when worn.

  • Advantages: Removable for easy cleaning, less noticeable, and ideal for mild to moderate alignment issues.
  • Considerations: Requires disciplined wear (22 hours a day), and may not be suitable for severe orthodontic cases.

3. Ceramic braces:


Similar to traditional braces, but the brackets are made of clear or tooth-coloured ceramic material, providing a more aesthetic appearance.

  • Advantages: Less noticeable than metal braces while maintaining effectiveness.
  • Considerations: May be more prone to staining and slightly more expensive than metal braces.

4. Lingual braces:


Custom-made “invisible” braces that are attached to the back (lingual) side of the teeth, hidden from view.

  • Advantages: Virtually invisible from the front, effective for various orthodontic issues.
  • Considerations: Potential initial discomfort, and cleaning may require extra attention.

5. Self-ligating braces:


Similar to traditional braces, but without the need for elastic bands to hold the wires in place.

  • Advantages: Reduced friction, potentially faster treatment time, and fewer adjustments.
  • Considerations: May be more expensive than traditional braces.

6. Retainers:


Custom-made devices worn after the completion of active orthodontic treatment to maintain the corrected tooth positions.

  • Advantages: Preserves the results achieved during the straightening process.
  • Considerations: Compliance is crucial for long-term effectiveness.

7. At Home aligner systems:


Customised aligners are shipped directly to the user’s home. The treatment plan is designed remotely, often with the guidance of licensed orthodontists.

  • Advantages: Convenient, remote monitoring, and generally more affordable than traditional orthodontic treatments.
  • Considerations: Since there is no trained orthodontist monitoring your progress there is opportunity for increased complications.

What’s The Difference Between Orthodontic Treatment and At-Home Teeth Straightening Kits?


Both orthodontic treatment and at-home teeth straightening kits offer two different approaches to fixing misaligned teeth and achieving a straighter smile.

Here’s how they differ in several key ways:

Orthodontic Treatment


  • More treatment options – Depending on the severity of your teeth malalignment, orthodontists can offer you a variety of treatment options from normal braces to lingual braces – the more options, the better!
  • Regular check-ups – With an orthodontic approach, a professional is able to examine the condition of your teeth as they inevitably change and adjust.
  • Regular advice – You can count on your orthodontist to provide you with constant reassurance and advice during your treatment journey.

Home Treatment


  • Offers fewer treatment options – At-home treatment only offers one option of straightening teeth which involves using clear aligners or plastic trays to gradually move teeth into proper alignment.
  • Does not require any in-person visits to an orthodontist – This makes it harder to track and monitor your progress during your treatment. It will be difficult to tell if there is any progress at all without the intervention of a professional.

a girl smiling with braces

Photo by Hamed darzi on Unsplash

How Exactly Do At-Home Teeth Straightening Kits Work?


At-home teeth straightening kits work by initially filling out a digital form from an accredited online company. In return, they will send you an impression kit with moulds for you to use and to give the provider an idea of what condition your teeth are in. This information allows them to create a 3D model of your teeth for your very own custom aligners.

After you receive your aligners, you’re fully responsible for using them correctly so that your crooked teeth get moved into the perfect smile.


Are At-Home Teeth Straightening Kits Safe?


At-home teeth straightening kits provide clear aligners and tend to work better for patients with mild orthodontic issues.

As a highly reputable orthodontic practice, we recommend seeking treatment tailored to an individual dental issue, especially if you have a severe orthodontic problem, such as a significant overbite or underbite. Or perhaps you might have a dental condition that requires a more advanced treatment and in that case, at-home teeth straightening kits may not be appropriate for you.

In practice, teeth straightening treatment at the orthodontist further examines the condition of people’s teeth. Whereas, at-home straightening kits offer a simple remedy and do not adequately treat people with serious dental conditions.

Therefore, orthodontic teeth straightening treatment is more effective as a trained orthodontist ensures that you attend regular checkups. 

Despite the claims made on online forums regarding “quicks hacks to straighten teeth”, it’s best advised to have your teeth checked by a trained professional orthodontist. Taking measures into your own hands with quick solutions will only risk further damage to your teeth, such as tooth decay, cracked teeth, oral infection alongside experiencing extreme pain.


Why Is Orthodontic Treatment Better?


While teeth straightening kits can be convenient and cost-effective, orthodontic treatment. However, on the other hand, orthodontic treatment is generally considered to be a better option for several reasons.

Orthodontic treatment can achieve more effective and long-lasting results compared to at-home straightening kits, especially for complex dental issues.

Plus, orthodontic treatment is a safe and proven method for correcting dental issues, while at-home straightening kits may have limitations and may pose risks if not used correctly.

While at-home straightening kits may be suitable for minor dental issues or cosmetic improvements, orthodontic treatment is recommended for moderate to severe dental problems that require more comprehensive treatment.

Take the first step towards a more confident smile today and contact us for a free consultation to discuss your orthodontic treatment options.

Don’t wait any longer, book your appointment now and start your journey towards a healthier smile!

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