Like many aspects of appearance, perfect smiles are often a matter of winning the genetic lottery. Not everyone is born with Tom Cruise teeth and even those of us who are blessed with a grin to die for would often kill for just a few minor tweaks to straighten and align to perfection.
What causes these niggling imperfections?
Well, there are are many reasons why teeth might stray from the straight-and-narrow, with results that vary from a couple of crooked offenders right through to a jaw full of misaligned malefactors.
It may be that the jaw hasn’t properly adapted to the size of adult teeth; or that the upper and lower teeth don’t connect as they should when biting. Dentists call this condition malocclusion. It can be caused by losing milk teeth in early toddler years, or even by excessive thumb sucking. If caught early, malocclusion can be corrected fairly easily with orthodontic treatment – usually carried out in the teen years.
When the problem isn’t addressed, adults are faced with seeking treatment later in life – and this means opting for a brace or straightener.
In days gone by, treatment with braces meant a lengthy spell with unsightly, uncomfortable and downright impractical metal brackets and wires glued to the teeth – a prospect that was enough to deter all but the most committed of fashionistas from seeking treatment.
But things have changed. There is now a huge array of straightening treatments available, offering varying levels of comfort, discretion and practicality.
Take clear aligners for instance – these clear plastic appliances are all-but-invisible to the naked eye. And they’re removable to boot, which makes them eminently suited to busy lifestyles.
Inman Aligners are another case in point. While not quite as discrete, they are also removable and straighten smiles faster by working only on the visible front teeth.
Of course, fixed braces are still used, but even these have changed beyond all recognition from those we recognise from way back when. Using tooth coloured brackets and clear wires has improved discretion almost immeasurably.
Meanwhile, newer lingual braces are an even bigger step forward. They’re exactly the same as traditional braces, with the crucial difference being that they’re affixed to the back of the teeth where they can’t be seen.
These leaps have made straightening technology far more attractive. These days it’s not uncommon to see straighteners worn as a fashion accessory or even a status symbol.
So, before jumping to conclusions about how teeth straightening with braces isn’t worth the sartorial sacrifice, why not take a look at some of the discrete, modern options on offer!