With stars and actors on our screens bearing the perfect teeth of Hollywood, it’s no surprise that we feel self-conscious about our own teeth and look for ways that we can correct our smile by making our teeth straighter.
Thanks to new developments and technology, there are now many different ways that you can straighten your teeth without having to take a trip to the orthodontist or have intrusive treatments such as braces. But with so many different products on the market, it can be confusing to know where to start.
Fear not. We’ve found the best bunch of different options to make it easier for you to narrow down which product you should consider and research before deciding on how you will straighten your teeth at home.
Avoiding Habits Promoting Crooked Teeth
Now, we are aware that for those reading this article, it may be too late to prevent your teeth from moving and becoming crooked, but you can still prevent this from worsening. There are many common habits that people do autonomously and without realising, which can actually push your teeth further apart or towards the back of your mouth.
Such habits include sucking on your thumb and even sitting with your chin leaning on your hand, which can force your teeth to move upwards into your gums and towards the front of your mouth. This is often the reason why some people have ‘buck teeth’ where the front set of teeth protrudes out of their mouth. You can further prevent your teeth from moving, by avoiding lying on your front as this can place a significant amount of inward pressure on your teeth which moves them over time.
If you have noticed any of these habits in yourself, or in others — in particular children — you should try to find ways to stop these habits as soon as possible before damage is done to their jaw and teeth alignment! There are simple and effective solutions, such as using gum, covering the finger with a foul-tasting (but safe to consume) paste which stops you in your tracks if you attempt to suck your finger, or even using an object for your fingers to fidget with to keep it away from your mouth.
Retainers are one of the most common ways to rearrange teeth, but they differ from aligners and braces in the sense that they use a single wire to guide the teeth along the upper jaw and another wire to do the same along the lower jaw. They are effective, but they are also visible, which can put people off, especially if they are an adult who is sensitive or embarrassed about their smile. There are some invisible retainers available, but these often require more check-ups than regular braces, and so are not cost-effective solutions if you are looking to save money. Additionally, retainers are only usually effective for teeth that are not severely crooked or are only mildly crooked, as opposed to extreme crookedness which will require a different solution to straighten them. Retainers will only work if minimal teeth correction is required.
Veneers are a cosmetic solution to your crooked teeth, as opposed to actually straightening your teeth. They are made of porcelain or composite resin which can change the look of your smile to give the appearance that you have a set of straight teeth. This solution is perhaps the cheapest of the suggestions that we have listed, but definitely not the best as veneers are not a permanent solution to the problem of crooked teeth. Although you can get veneers sent to your home, they will be at a much lower quality and standard to those you could have inserted professionally by a specialist dentist. Furthermore, they are an irreversible option and have to be changed every five to ten years.
Dentist grade veneers will be secure, and resistant to staining. They can be used to cover up chipped, discoloured and misaligned teeth too. However, this would come at a much higher price and defeat the object of this article, by having to leave your home to give the impression of straighter teeth.
Aligners are an alternative to braces, which are far more intrusive and expensive as they involve regular trips to the orthodontist. They are available as both visible and clear, with the clear options often coming at a higher cost than visible aligners. Aligners gradually shift your teeth into the perfect position. This is done by wearing a series of different aligners every two weeks, which become increasingly closer together so that your teeth are pulled into their straighter position.
Not only can they be invisible, but you can remove them whenever you want, unlike the much more intrusive ceramic or metal braces available which you are obligated to wear 24/7. This means that aligners are also called invisible braces. Obviously, wearing the aligner more frequently will mean that your teeth move faster into a straighter position; however, the aligner offers you the choice of when, how and where you wear it. This is perfect if you have special events coming up, as you can choose to not wear it for the hours of the event without spending extra money removing the fixture and intervening in your teeth-straightening progress.
Straight My Teeth have this guide on how effective clear aligners are, as well as where and how you can purchase your own from the company. They have outlined the process of ordering and fitting your own clear aligner at home, which is possible with Straight My Teeth who are renowned for their custom-made aligners and they work alongside UK orthodontists, dentists and the FDA. Additionally, the business offers their clear aligners at a much lower cost than others on the market, claiming that their own are 65-70 per cent cheaper than other at-home solutions available online. Most importantly, they are much cheaper than the average brace cost in the UK. A quick Google of ‘how much do braces cost UK’ will certainly have you opting for aligners over braces from the orthodontist if your teeth are not severely crooked enough to receive NHS funding!
Now, the hardest part is deciding which of these options is best for you, and to choose which option you will go ahead with. One or a combination of these methods may be suitable for your needs, without having to make a trip to the dentist — making this far easier and less expensive. You should avoid cheap at home products advertised on market places that have no customer reviews and are not approved by dentists.
Approved and safe-to-use at home treatments to straighten your teeth will vary in prices, with ‘quick fix’ options usually being more expensive than options that will see results over a longer period of time. However, what is definite is that you no longer need to feel ashamed of your crooked teeth as there are affordable options available from your very own home. Your dream of perfectly straight teeth can come true!
Have you tried any of these options? Let us know how you got on.