More often than not, many people will ask the dentist questions regarding the look of their teeth, only to find that the dentist cannot actually be that helpful in terms of improving the cosmetic look of their teeth. This is because a dentist is a doctor that is concerned about the state of each individual tooth – is it clean enough? Is the enamel wearing down? Are their teeth too close together which increases the chances of cavities? Is there a lot of plaque? But a dentist can certainly help you find a good orthodontist, who is a specialist in tooth and jaw alignment specifically, which also has a lot to do with the health of your teeth. The orthodontist is the specialist who will be able to make a professional assessment of the state of your teeth and help you find a good option for treatment purposes, whether it’s for health reasons or purely cosmetic. You don’t even need a referral to see the orthodontist, so if you are wanting to call ahead to make an appointment, it is certainly possible.
As far as treatment options go, a person with a mild misalignment case will be told to use a retainer, which is a wire that is fitted to your teeth, and they hold your teeth together. Basically, they are used to prevent any further misalignment. They are pretty discreet, as many people are concerned about the way they are going to look in front of everyone else when they are wearing anything related to cosmetic treatment of their teeth. Retainers can easily be taken off when the time calls for that (such as eating). However, there are times when the retainer is not going to work for fixing your teeth and you will need braces instead – although of course, if your case is severe enough, you may need to wear braces first and when it gets good enough, you may wear retainers after.
The orthodontist may suggest if retainers are not going to work and he or she will urge you to seriously consider them for your benefit. Traditional braces are made of steel, and they are just like the way we imagine them. Maybe you have seen someone be teased endlessly for their braces and you don’t want that to be you. Maybe you are an adult and the option of wearing steel braces does not exist, because you have to keep a professional appearance in the office for clients, bosses and important business partners. It is also possible that you are worried that you will be judged in your private life for wearing them and being told that you are too old to wear braces. First of all, these reasons for concern all legitimate concerns and it’s unfortunate that we grow up with such misconceptions about appearance, but considering that they exist, there are discreet options available that were designed for adults in mind, which is will undoubtedly help so many cope with the idea of wearing braces.
What do you think about the option of wearing clear braces? Also called ceramic braces, these braces are far more discreet than the use of traditional braces. They work mostly just like normal braces, except they are see-through, as they are made using different materials. They also use wires to tighten the adjustment, and clear brackets are still glued to the front of the teeth – in essence, they work just like standard braces, except they are far less noticeable, yet your peers and friends will certainly be able to tell that you have them on.
Lingual braces are a good alternative option to the clear braces if you are really needing complete discretion, as they are completely unnoticeable since they are glued at the back of the teeth. They are a lot more uncomfortable to wear though, and the application process can be complex for the orthodontist since they go behind the teeth. They are also not nearly as effective as clear braces or traditional braces, which is why they are not the most popular option that people go to. Whether lingual braces are a good treatment option depends entirely on your particular case, and the orthodontist will have to determine your eligibility for that.
If that doesn’t work for you, you can use Invisalign as well as a treatment. These are clear aligners that are made of plastic and designed by a computer program that measures the structure of your teeth. The orthodontist then designs a special individualized aligner for you. This is an expensive option, as you will have to keep visiting the orthodontist in order to exchange your aligner for a newer update as your smile improves (basically every two weeks, and you will have to pay for each aligner). It may be worth it for you, since they really do apply invisibly.