Teeth Straightening Options in Australia
Reasons to straighten your teeth
The main reason people want to align their teeth is to feel more confident in their smile. However, having orthodontic treatment can also improve your bite, reduce tooth wear and help with dental hygiene. Ignoring problems related to your teeth and bite may seem convenient, but the treatment needed to fix your concerns may be more simple than you think.
Is teeth alignment hereditary?
In a word? Yes. Genetics plays an important role in determining the shape and size of your jaw, which markedly affects the alignment of your teeth. So if you have overcrowded teeth, for example, or a ‘bad bite’, you most likely inherited it.
Teeth straightening options
1. Ceramic braces
Ceramic braces are popular among adults and older teens who are looking for an effective teeth straightening option with a less obvious appearance. They are less noticeable than standard metal braces because they have clear or tooth-coloured brackets and optional tooth-coloured wires.
While ceramic braces are much less visible, they work in precisely the same way as metal braces, producing the same results in the same treatment time.
2. Clear Aligners
Clear plastic aligners can provide an almost invisible alternative to fixed braces but are generally better suited to correcting less severe orthodontic problems. Clear aligners are removable and virtually invisible, but if they’re not worn consistently or are removed from the mouth too often the treatment will not work.
3. Metal braces
Traditional metal braces are still the most common type of braces used for kids and teens, but they’re also an option for adults, particularly those who are on a tighter budget.
With this type of treatment, small metal brackets are attached to the teeth and are then connected with a thin wire, which is adjusted or changed at regular intervals to gradually align your teeth and correct your bite – making them a very effective and reliable treatment option. Modern metal braces are much smaller and more comfortable than ever before. In younger patients, you’ll often see them jazzed up with colourful elastic modules to make the fun and fashionable!
What is the cheapest way to align your teeth?
The cheapest way to align your teeth is to take the traditional route with metal braces. This will cost you between $5,500 – $9,000 for a full 15-18 month treatment plan. Generally, clear aligners are also quite affordable due to requiring cheaper materials to make. And you can also ask your orthodontist about payment plans to help you spread out the cost of your treatment. Saying that each case is different and the only way to know the costs will be is to have a consultation with an orthodontist.
How to straighten teeth without braces?
Removable plates are not a true alternative to braces or aligners as they can only provide limited corrections.
Plates are mostly used in young children who still have baby teeth present and whilst they can certainly be very helpful for correcting some simple problems in this age group, the second stage of treatment with braces will usually be needed after all the adult teeth have come through a few years later.
While there are alternative treatment options available if you’re looking for ways to correct your smile without braces, they may not be suited to everybody. It is always best to discuss the best treatment options for your smile when you make an appointment with your local specialist orthodontist.
Can you straighten teeth with just a retainer?
Retainers aren’t an alternative to braces, but rather a vital follow-up treatment to ensure your newly straightened teeth stay in place. Simply put? If you have misaligned teeth that require braces treatment, a retainer won’t straighten them. However, in extremely mild cases – for example, if you have one or two crooked teeth – retainers may help straighten them. As always, the best place to start is by booking a consult with a specialist orthodontist.
Can a mouth guard straighten your teeth?
No. Mouth guards work to protect your teeth from damage, not to straighten them. Their primary function is to prevent you from clenching or grinding your teeth – especially while you sleep. So you’ll need braces treatment to align your teeth if they’re crooked, not a mouth guard.
Can teeth be straightened at any age?
There is no cut off age for getting braces, which means your teeth can be straightened at any age. Saying that having corrective treatment as an adult can be more complicated for a number of reasons including fillings, missing teeth or other dental issues. Your specialist orthodontist has a wealth of knowledge and clinical experience, which means that you should have no problem overcoming any challenge. In your consultation, your orthodontist will carefully assess your oral health and flag any concerns that may arise.
How can I get my braces off faster?
Speed is a top priority for many patients and this is a common question we are asked. To help your treatment progress as quickly as possible, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and take care of your appliance by brushing and flossing two to three times a day or after every meal.
If you’re undergoing clear aligner treatment, you must keep your appliance in your mouth for at least 22 hours a day and only remove your appliance when eating, drinking or brushing your teeth to maximise its effectiveness.
Importantly, you should never try to speed up your treatment on your own, such as by adding elastic bands when they haven’t been recommended by your orthodontist or trying to ‘push your teeth’ further. This can cause damage to the teeth and gums which can actually slow down your treatment or require costly actions to correct.
You should always consult a specialist orthodontist before commencing any form of orthodontic treatment. They will be able to make an assessment based on your teeth, gums and bone growth and will guide you through the process safely.
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