Few people are blessed with perfectly aligned and straight teeth. Diet, habits, and even posture can alter the alignment of your teeth and make them appear crooked. Most correct this problem during their childhood and teenage years by wearing metal braces or orthodontic apparatuses. While these dental tools are very effective, they can be cumbersome and unattractive. Most children and teens hesitate to wear them and most adults don’t want to.
You can avoid teeth misalignment by adopting good habits and straighten your teeth without metal braces. It’s a good idea to consider your dentist before you try any at-home treatment or straightening solutions.
Avoiding Crooked Teeth
Prevention is always better than the cure. Your teeth can become misaligned over time if you have bad habits. You can take the steps mentioned below if you want to avoid crooked and misaligned teeth.
- Don’t Sleep on Your Stomach – When you sleep on your stomach, the pressure pushes the teeth outward, and causes crowding or overlapping teeth. You should learn to sleep on your back or on your side instead of your stomach.
- Don’t Lean on Your Hand – When you lean on your hand, you place pressure on your jaw and teeth, especially if you are in the habit of leaning on one side. The best way to avoid this problem is to improve your overall posture. Keep your back straight and head well-balanced. Sit flat on your bottom and keep your lower spine well-aligned. This will relieve pressure from the neck and help you avoid neck fatigue.
- Don’t Apply Outward Pressure – Actions like sucking the thumb, drinking from the straw, constantly biting the nails, etc, can place outward pressure on the teeth and cause misalignment. If you continue these habits, your teeth will spread and form gaps. You need to stop or limit the habit. Drinking from the straw is beneficial as it helps protect your teeth from decay so don’t just discontinue that; just watch how much pressure you place on the teeth.
- Fill in the Gaps – Teeth stay aligned because they hold each other in place like pieces of a puzzle. If there’s a large gap or a few missing teeth, the surrounding teeth will start to encroach on the space. That’ll knock your entire set out of alignment. You can avoid this problem by filling the gap with the help of dental bridges, dentures, dental cement, etc. You can also use an implant to fill the gap created by a missing tooth.
- Remove Wisdom Teeth – Wisdom teeth can also knock your remaining teeth out of alignment, especially if they’re impacted and don’t grow properly. It’s important to remove all impacted or misaligned wisdom teeth before they have the chance to harm the remaining teeth.
How to Straighten Teeth Without Braces?
Braces straighten teeth very effectively but they’re also highly visible and difficult to maintain. There are more convenient alternatives available to you.
- Clear Aligners – Invisalign or clear aligners are made from special silicone material and are similar to braces. They exert steady pressure on the teeth over a period of several weeks and months to force them back into alignment.
- Lingual Braces – Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces but they’re placed inside rather than on the outside of the teeth. They tighten over time and force the teeth into alignment. This treatment takes anywhere between 6 to 24 months.
- Veneers – Veneers are ceramic attachments that are applied to your natural teeth with the help of dental cement. They look like natural teeth but have better shape, color, and alignment.
You don’t need retainers or straightening braces to ensure you teeth are perfectly aligned and these solutions work well. Just consult with your dentist to know more about these solutions.