Teeth Straightening Options

Teeth straightening is the process of aligning teeth and fixing an overbite, underbite, cross bites or teeth gaps. During teeth straightening, constant pressure is applied over time to the tooth and jaw which eventually moves them into alignment.


Today, children and adults have more options than ever for straightening crooked teeth and fixing an uneven bite. The following are a few of the most popular ways to do so:

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common and cost-effective treatment for teeth straightening. Millions of kids, teens and adults rely on this time-tested treatment to help them achieve their goals for beautiful smiles and healthy bites. They are also one of the most effective ways to correct many complex problems, such as large gaps, rotated teeth and overcrowding.

The metal brackets are cemented to the front of each tooth and then connected by arch wires that apply pressure to specific areas to move the teeth into their desired positions. The wires are periodically adjusted by an orthodontist to maintain the proper amount of pressure on teeth for the best possible results.

While the arch wires are typically made of steel, other options for this component include the use of white or tooth-colored ceramic wires that are less visible than traditional metal wires and make a minimal impact on the appearance of your smile. These types of arch wires corrode more quickly than standard metal wires, so patients who choose them should be careful to avoid foods that can stain the brackets, such as berries, red wine and dark chocolate.

Straightening your teeth doesn’t just improve the look of your smile; it can also protect against health issues like gum disease, headaches and sleep apnea. Additionally, properly aligned teeth are easier to brush and floss, reducing the risk of cavities and periodontal disease.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces, also known as clear braces, are a more subtle option than traditional metal braces. They use clear or tooth-colored brackets that blend in with your natural teeth shade, a color-matched arch wire to help reduce their visibility, and elastic bands to help adjust the position of your jaw and teeth over time. They are popular among adult patients who work in professional offices or who have other concerns about the appearance of traditional metal braces.

The main disadvantage of ceramic braces is that they are more fragile than metal, and therefore require a higher level of care and attention. You will need to brush and floss more frequently, avoiding hard or crunchy foods that can break the brackets. You will also need to avoid staining agents like red wine, coffee, and marinara sauce that can discolor the ceramic brackets.

Additionally, the clear or white color of ceramic braces can show more discoloration than a darker metal bracket, and thus may be more noticeable than a more natural-looking metallic finish. Due to this potential for staining, ceramic brackets are usually reserved for older teens or adults who are committed to keeping them clean and stain-free.


Invisalign clear aligners are an alternative to braces that straighten your teeth without a mouthful of metal. This discreet treatment uses a series of custom-made, thin, clear plastic trays that gradually shift your teeth until they are in their final positions. Invisalign is popular among teens and adults because it offers a more comfortable, discreet, less noticeable way to straighten your teeth.

Invisalign can correct many types of malocclusions including overbites, underbites, crossbites, crowded teeth, overlapping teeth, and crooked teeth. While most people seek teeth straightening to improve the aesthetics of their smile, it is also important to remember that crooked teeth and bite problems can interfere with critical daily functions like chewing and speaking. Moreover, these problems can lead to more serious dental and oral health concerns such as TMJ disorders.

Unlike metal braces, Invisalign trays are smooth and have no harsh edges that can scrape the insides of your cheeks or lips. Invisalign trays are also removable so you can enjoy your favorite foods and drinks. However, be sure to brush and clean your trays regularly to avoid staining and maintain good oral hygiene. Moreover, Invisalign is more convenient than traditional braces because it only requires you to visit your orthodontist once every six weeks. This is much less frequent than the visits required for other teeth straightening options.


Once braces or Invisalign treatment has finished, patients are often thrilled to see that they’re free of metal brackets. But it’s important to remember that retainers are still a key component to maintaining the straight smile that you worked so hard for.

Teeth have a natural tendency to shift back to their original position, and a retainer is the only way to stop this from happening after your teeth straightening procedure. A retainer will ensure that your new, straight smile lasts for life!

There are a few different types of retainers, and each one has its own unique benefits. Your orthodontist will help you decide which type of retainer is best for you, based on your specific needs.

Removable retainers can be easily cleaned, so you’ll want to make sure that they’re clean and hygienic at all times. They can be rinsed in cool water and brushed with a soft-bristled brush to keep them fresh and clean. Removable retainers tend to break more easily than permanent retainers, so it’s important to wear them as instructed.

There are many reasons why your teeth may start shifting, even after you’ve worn a retainer for a while. If you grind your teeth, for example, this can cause subtle shifts over time. It’s also possible that if you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth can move to fill in the gap. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to talk to your orthodontist about these issues as soon as they come up.