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How to Fix Minor Overcrowding of Teeth Without Braces or Invisalign?
Everyone, no matter their age, wants to have teeth that are straight and beautiful. An even smile can boost your confidence and make you feel as though anything is possible. Unfortunately, many people suffer from some kind of issue within their teeth that causes overcrowding, an overbite, an underbite, or any number of other problems. While some of these issues can be directly tackled with the usage of braces and Invisalign, these orthodontic solutions are typically reserved for people who suffer from substantial overcrowding or a large overbite. The key to fixing overcrowding teeth depends on the extent of the crowding. If the crowding you’re experiencing is minimal, it’s possible that you’ll be able to fix this overcrowding without Invisalign or braces.
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What are Retainers?
One of the best ways to fix overcrowding without braces is through retainers which are available in different types for you to choose from. For people who wear braces, retainers are oftentimes used once the braces have been removed as a means of keeping the movements of the teeth intact and to stop these teeth from moving back to their original position. However, if the crowding of your teeth is kept to a minimum, it may be possible to bypass braces or any other orthodontic solution altogether and simply use a retainer in order to straighten your teeth.
The first type of retainer you could use for fixing overcrowding teeth is referred to as a fixed retainer, also known as bonded lingual retainers. These retainers are attached to the inner surface of your teeth through the usage of dental cement. This method of attaching the retainer allows the teeth to remain in their fixed position and will prevent them from shifting in the future. It greatly helps with minimal crowding issues by straightening your teeth and improving your bite.
Another type of retainer that can be used for overcrowding without Invisalign or braces is a removable retainer. Removable retainers have several advantages compared to others since it can be readily removed at any time you want, while still providing much of the same results as a fixed retainer. However, these retainers are easy to lose and very expensive to replace, so you’ll want to heavily consider your options before settling on removable retainers. While these retainers can be removed at any time, it’s recommended that you only remove them during special occasions or for simple relief in the event that they become too irritating for your mouth.
Both removable retainers and fixed retainers can be used on the upper or lower portions of the teeth, which largely depends on where the corrections and adjustments need to be made. Before you’re provided with a retainer, a consultation will first take place to identify whether or not your overcrowding issues even qualify for this orthodontic solution. In the event that they do, the orthodontist on hand will be able to answer any of your questions and will provide you with everything you need to know about wearing the retainer and how long it will take to see the results that you’re looking for.
What is the Treatment Time with Retainers?
In the event that you select retainers for the slight overcrowding of your teeth, you may wonder how long you’ll need to wear the retainers before the teeth have moved into their proper position. There are a couple of things that you should be aware of. For one, if you choose a fixed retainer, it’s important to understand that these retainers are designed to be used on a long-term basis, even after they’ve stopped moving your teeth. Since they’re cemented into place, the only way to remove them is by returning to your orthodontist.
However, when using these fixed retainers for slight movements associated with overcrowding, your teeth will likely move into their correct position within three to six months, though it’s recommended to wear them longer so as to ensure that your teeth don’t revert to their original position. If you choose to wear a removable retainer, the treatment time will likely be slightly longer than with a fixed retainer, due primarily to the fact that you’ll remove them from time to time. You can expect to wear this retainer for six months to a year before the achieving your desired results.
What are Palatal Expanders?
While retainers are the most commonly used remedies for overcrowding without braces, it’s also possible to correct the minor issue using palatal expanders. A palatal expander is a type of appliance that’s commonly used to widen the upper jaw and the roof of the mouth. The result of using this appliance is providing more room for your teeth to grow, which can actually be beneficial for a wide range of orthodontic issues.
In regards to overcrowding, when your child’s palate is narrower than it should be, the upper teeth may not be able to accommodate the growth of permanent teeth once they start to erupt, which can cause issues and a greater necessity for braces. With the expansion of the upper jaw, the overcrowding problems are directly addressed and your teeth can be properly straightened.
What are the Benefits of Straightened Teeth?
There is a wide array of benefits associated with straightened teeth that might be appealing to you if you’ve never had straight teeth before. For instance, you’ll have a more beautiful smile that will look great in pictures and will boost your self-confidence, which could make a difference in doing well on a job interview or being more sociable.
Straightened teeth also mean that brushing your teeth will be much simpler, as there will be less spaces for food and other particles to get stuck. Crooked teeth can also cause undue pressure to the jaw and eventually lead to headaches. With a better bite, you’ll be able to eat and chew foods better as well.
If you believe that your teeth are slightly overcrowded and you would like to make sure that your smile is as beautiful and straight as possible, call us today to set up your initial consultation with Dr. McDermott and his team. Our orthodontists have the capabilities necessary to ensure that all of your orthodontic needs are well taken care of.
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How to Fix Crowded Teeth [Without Braces]
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.