How to Straighten Your Teeth

teeth straightening - girl smiling with braces on.

How to Straighten Your Teeth

Do you have crooked teeth? Wondering how you can straighten them and how long it might take? Braces, dental aligners such as Invisalign, and surgery can all correct misalignments, and the time they take will depend on which method you choose and on the severity of the misalignment. Prescott Dentistry can provide the perfect solution based on your age, comfort level, and individual needs.

Straightening Teeth with Braces

Braces are the traditional option for straightening teeth, and they remain a strong choice, especially in cases of severe misalignment. Made from metal or ceramic, braces are wire devices that connect with a bonding agent to your teeth. They exert pressure on the teeth for an extended period of time, slowly pulling them into correct alignment.

How Long Does It Take to Straighten Teeth with Braces?

The exact treatment time varies between patients, but generally, braces take around two years to straighten crooked teeth. After the braces are removed, you’ll need to wear a retainer at night so your teeth keep their new alignment.

Straightening Teeth with Invisalign Clear Aligners

In recent years, clear aligners such as Invisalign have become popular choices for adults and teens with mild to moderate misalignments. These transparent, plastic alternatives to traditional braces are customized to each patient’s mouth using either molded impressions or digital scans. Much like braces, they gradually push the teeth into a new alignment over time.

How Long Does It Take to Straighten Teeth with Invisalign?

While you may see initial results in a few weeks, the finished results will take 12 to 18 months. A retainer will need to be worn afterward to maintain the alignment.

The main advantage of clear aligners over braces is that they are less noticeable and do not limit your ability to eat, floss, and brush your teeth. However, they generally cost more than braces and although you can remove them during meals, you must remember to put them back on and wear them at least 22 hours every day.

Jaw Surgery for Extreme Cases

When teeth misalignment causes severe difficulties in your life and neither of the two previous options can help, jaw surgery may become necessary. Also known as orthognathic surgery, this form of treatment shifts the jaw and teeth into new, more effective positions.

How Long Does It Take to Straighten Teeth with Surgery?

The results are fairly immediate when compared to the other options, and recovery takes roughly two to three weeks. However, the costs can be much higher for this treatment, averaging at $20,000. Insurance will not usually cover this surgery, so patients will need to consider a payment option to cover the cost.

Are Retainers Effective for Straightening Teeth?

In certain minor cases, retainers can straighten teeth without the prior use of braces or aligners. Retainers are custom-made devices that hold teeth in place after surgery or orthodontic treatments. However, for small, minor issues such as a single small gap or single tooth adjustment, a retainer may be an effective option.

Are You Considering Straightening Your Teeth?

If you or your child need to correct a misalignment, the smile specialists at Prescott Dentistry can walk you through the process and help you choose the most effective method. We would love to meet with you for a consultation and answer all of your questions about teeth straightening. Contact us online or call 928-445-1660 to schedule an appointment today.

Photo by Jenna Tyson on Unsplash