Having crowded teeth can be a big problem for some people. Not only does a crooked smile make many people feel self-conscious, but there can be ongoing oral health implications as well. And while there are several options available to help straighten teeth, treatment times can vary and sometimes take years to complete.
Why are crowded teeth a problem?
Crooked, crowded or gappy teeth can cause many issues for people. According to Healthline, some of the most common – and potentially harmful – side effects experienced include:
- Feeling self-conscious– it’s not just about vanity and aesthetics. Some people develop severe mental health conditions like anxiety or avoid socialising altogether when they feel particularly embarrassed about their teeth and smile.
- Difficulty chewing or digesting food– Many people don’t even realise that their teeth are causing some of their digestion problems; the symptoms are either brushed off as part of another condition or just something the person learns to live with throughout their life.
- Uneven wearing: We only get one set of teeth to last us through our entire adulthood, and having crooked teeth can cause them to wear at different rates, causing further dental issues later in life.
- Increased risk of gum disease: No matter how good someone’s oral hygiene routine is, crowded teeth are harder to clean. Prevention is always better than cure, and for cavities and gum disease, it means being able to do a thorough clean at home between dental visits.
Are braces the only solution for crowded teeth?
In days gone by, metal braces were the only option for people seeking straighter teeth. These were costly, especially if families had multiple children needing orthodontic treatment. And it doesn’t stop at the price of orthodontic treatment either. Braces need tightening and adjusting on average every four to six weeks. With treatment often lasting up to two years or longer, that’s a lot of visits to the dental clinic.
Metal braces are also a lifestyle choice – and not a good one at that. They alter people’s appearance in an obvious way, which can be more damaging to their self-esteem than having crooked teeth.
Furthermore, some foods have to be avoided until the braces come off. And trying to brush teeth around the metal brackets and wires isn’t easy.
Of course, they are a necessary evil for some of the more complex orthodontic conditions, but many people have far more choices when it comes to fixing crowded teeth.
- Ceramic braces with clear or tooth-coloured brackets and wires are less visible than conventional metal brackets and lingual braces that are fastened to the back of the teeth. The cost of these treatments vary and still involve food and cleaning considerations, but they’re great choices for people who need braces but want a more discreet treatment.
- Clear aligners or plastic trays that are worn over the teeth like a mouthguard – Aligners achieve the results of braces in a more comfortable, convenient and affordable way. They’re also removable, which means no food restrictions and easier teeth cleaning. The treatment time is often considerably shorter.
The clear choice for crooked teeth
Clear aligners are most people’s first choice for correcting crowded teeth and are more comfortable too.
Clear aligners are custom made to each patient’s mouth and designed to be worn for a couple of weeks at a time before changing to the next aligner or “tray” as their teeth shift into place. The gentle pressure that the clear aligners put on teeth is a more pleasant experience for patients, plus they’re a lifestyle-friendly choice.
Most treatments are completed within 9-12 months, although individual durations will vary depending on compliance. To achieve the desired results, patients must wear their aligners for most of the day – 20 to 22 hours is recommended. However, patients can remove the aligners for eating, drinking, and cleaning their teeth. “Night only” aligners are available for patients who may not feel confident or comfortable removing their aligners throughout the day. However, these are typically more expensive and extend the treatment duration.
While many patients visit their dentist for aligner treatment, patients can also go direct to suppliers and manage their orthodontic journey themselves without ever needing to book a dental appointment or see a dentist.
The convenient choice for crooked teeth
Treatment for crowded teeth can be just a few clicks away with direct to consumer aligner companies like Straight My Teeth. Prospective patients can discover if they’re a suitable candidate for aligner treatment simply by completing an online assessment form.
Once approved, patients are sent a ‘risk-free’ impression kit to create exact teeth moulds and sent back to the company to fabricate the aligners. The clear aligners are sent directly to the patient’s door, so they can start straightening their teeth as soon as they are ready.
The aligners are custom made to fit the mouth’s contours and worn sequentially to achieve the desired results. On average, straighter teeth are achieved within six months, depending on the case’s complexity. Treatment is monitored remotely by a team of experienced dentists, and patients are allocated a ‘style specialist’ to help them on their orthodontic journey.
Not only is Straight My Teeth treatment convenient, without the need for ongoing dental visits, but it’s also highly affordable when compared to dentist-led treatments like Invisalign.
Straight My Teeth treatment is currently being offered at just £674 (regular price £999), and patients will receive a free retainer at the end of their treatment to prevent their teeth from shifting position. In addition, there are also payment plans available for those who prefer to spread the cost over their treatment duration.
Ready to get started?
It’s easy to get started with a 30-second free assessment that helps identify if clear aligner therapy might be right for you. So, what are you waiting for? You could be showing off your new smile in time for the summer.
Whelan, C. (2019, May 8). What Causes Crooked Teeth and How to Straighten Them. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/crooked-teeth#complications
What You Can and Can’t Eat with Braces. (n.d.). Oral-B. https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/braces/what-you-can-cant-eat-with-braces/
How Much Do Braces Cost in the UK? Guide to Different Types. (2022, February 16). Dentaly.Org. https://www.dentaly.org/en/braces-for-adults/
Tamer, İ., Öztaş, E., & Marşan, G. (2019). Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners and The Scientific Reality Behind Their Marketing: A Literature Review. Turkish journal of orthodontics, 32(4), 241–246. https://doi.org/10.5152/TurkJOrthod.2019.18083
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Kishor Kumar Pradhan