Did you know that crooked teeth can affect more than just your appearance? Teeth that are overlapped or crooked can affect your bite, make it difficult to properly clean your teeth, and even cause problems with digestion. But there’s good news — you don’t have to live with a crooked smile. In fact, your dentist in St. Louis can offer you ways to straighten your smile, without braces!
Adults who have minorly misaligned teeth and who want a straighter smile can sometimes benefit from a simple tooth recontouring treatment. Tooth recontouring involves removing portions of the enamel in order to change the shape of your teeth.
Another simple way to transform the appearance of your teeth is through a cosmetic dentistry treatment called bonding. Bonding is usually appropriate for one or two teeth that sit farther back than other teeth. Your dentist in St. Louis will apply bonding material to build up the tooth structure so it becomes aligned with the neighboring teeth.
Dental veneers may also help straighten teeth that are a bit more overcrowded or crooked than those that can benefit from contouring or bonding. Veneers are thin slices of porcelain that are created to match the best shape, size, and color for your smile. Your dentist will remove a tiny portion of the front surface of your teeth to make room for the veneer, then affix the shell in place. This form of cosmetic dentistry can also cover up discoloration or smaller gaps.
Patients who have crooked teeth that can’t be fixed through the other treatments may be a candidate for invisible aligners. These thin plastic aligners are worn every day and only removed to eat and brush your teeth. They can effectively move teeth into the desired position, similarly to traditional metal braces. While these revolutionary aligners can certainly transform a smile, they may not be appropriate for everyone. Talk with your dentist in St. Louis about whether clear aligners may be right for you.
Should You Straighten Your Teeth At Home?
While we’re talking about clear aligners, it’s important to mention the surge in at-home clear aligner treatment. However, straightening your teeth at home, either with these aligners or by trying to make your own braces, can result in some negative side-effects such as:
It’s always best to talk with your dentist in St. Louis about any dental treatment before trying to treat it on your own.
Signs You May Need to Straighten Your Teeth
You may not know if crooked or overlapping teeth are affecting your overall health, but there are often some telltale signs that you will benefit from a smile straightening treatment including:
If you’re unhappy with your smile or notice any of the signs above, schedule an appointment with your dentist. You’ll talk about what’s bothering you and your dentist will perform an exam and possibly x-rays to get a better idea of what treatment may be the best way to straighten your teeth.