Smiling is usually the antidote to stress, but for many people, it is the cause of it. In fact, feeling self-conscious about our teeth is cited as the main reason only a third of us are willing to pose with our mouths open in photographs. Crooked teeth or teeth that are discoloured tend to be the biggest causes of people’s anxieties.
But aesthetics and confidence aren’t the only reason people should be considering whether it’s time to consider orthodontic treatment to get straight teeth.
The hidden risks of crooked teeth
While there’s no denying the impact that low self-esteem can have on someone’s wellbeing, Healthline has listed some key reasons why straight teeth tend to be healthier than their crooked counterparts.
- Wear and tear– We only get one set of adult teeth to last us our lifetime, and when teeth aren’t aligned, it can cause them to wear down unevenly. Damage caused by crooked teeth can sometimes lead to more significant complications, such as cracked teeth, jaw strain and even more complicated jaw issues. It might even be the cause of headaches.
- Gum disease– It is more challenging for people to clean crooked teeth. Food particles and debris tend to get trapped, and regular tools like toothbrushes and dental floss can’t always reach where they need to.
- Damaged enamel: No matter how fastidious someone’s brushing and flossing routine, crooked teeth create obstacles that are hard to clean. Just as the risk of gum disease and cavities increases if someone doesn’t have straight teeth, crooked teeth rubbing together will likely damage the tooth enamel.
- Chewing and digestion issues: This one can be a bit of a wildcard as most people tend to write off these kinds of problems as “just them” and learn to live with their ailments because they’re not aware improvements are possible.
One of the biggest issues with these health concerns is that many of them don’t have symptoms. By the time dental conditions like cavities, gum disease and other ailments show signs, they’re already advanced.
While regular dental check-ups can help and should be part of any good oral health routine, so can getting straight teeth.
How to get straight teeth
Orthodontics has come a long way. While some conditions still need surgery and/or braces to fix, people can now choose between different braces, including aligners that are virtually invisible.
Some of the most common ways to get straight teeth include:
- Metal Braces (£1500-£3000) – the traditional “train track” style braces you’re imagining. While they are the only choice for some patients, most people are hesitant to choose them because they are so obvious and can be limiting. For example, there are many foods that you cannot enjoy until your treatment is over. They also require regular adjustments, which means many visits back to the dentist or orthodontist for the duration of treatment.
- Ceramic Braces (£2000 – £6000)- Just like metal braces but with clear or tooth-coloured brackets and wires. Ceramic braces are less visible and can be more comfortable to wear.
- Lingual Braces (£2000 to £10,000) – These braces use a similar technology to metal braces but are worn on the inside of the teeth. They are more discreet than metal braces since the brackets are hidden out of view. While they are highly effective for treating complex cases, they can feel uncomfortable when they are first applied or adjusted. Because lingual braces can only be supplied and fitted by highly experienced dentists, they can be hard to source.
- Clear Aligners (£1500 – £5500) – Available from dentists, clear aligner treatment utilises clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth like a mouthguard or retainer. They are removable, which means patients can maintain their usual oral health routine and eat whatever food and drink they like during treatment.
The clear choice for straight teeth
While all braces achieve the same objective – a straighter smile – aligners are the clear winner for many people and fit effortlessly into their lifestyles. Moreover, clinical studies have shown that removable aligners are equally as effective as fixed braces for minor to moderate orthodontic problems.
The ability to remove the aligners when they need to – such as for eating, drinking and cleaning the teeth, makes them a convenient choice. Moreover, most people can’t tell a person is wearing clear aligners (unless they’re told) because they are virtually invisible.
Typically, patients wear their clear aligners for 20-22 hours a day, but some “night only” versions enable people to get the same results without wearing the aligners for as many hours a day. However, these aligners tend to cost more and take longer to straighten the teeth. That said, they’re an ideal option for people who don’t feel confident or comfortable removing and inserting the clear aligners when they’re in public spaces.
Clear aligners such as Invisalign don’t come cheap. Moreover, regular dental visits are required to monitor progress and collect the next series of aligners.
A more affordable option to clear aligners from the dentist
The good news is that there is a cheaper and more affordable option through direct to consumer clear aligners from companies including Straight My Teeth.
Patients can be assessed for suitability online. Once they have taken impressions of their teeth to create moulds, the company mails their customised aligners directly to their door – all of this without having to leave home and visit a dentist.
In-office aligners are known to treat severe cases of malocclusion but companies like SMT offer you an affordable approach to teeth straightening. In-office aligners chare a lot more than at-home aligner brands because of the frequent office visits to the orthodontist. SMT gives you the advantage of getting your treatment monitored while you remain in your home.
Straight My Teeth has a team of trained and experienced dental professionals on staff who oversee all clear aligner treatments. Because of lower overheads than physical dental surgeries, direct to consumer companies keep their prices refreshingly affordable.
In fact, Straight My Teeth offers the UK’s most affordable straightening options and two payment plans.
Smile Advantage is the most affordable one-time payment plan – regular cost of £1499 but currently on offer at £1199.
Smileflex Easy is an instalment plan of £110.00 a month for 12 months with a down payment of £739 – total cost £1399.
Are you ready to take the first step to a brand new smile?
Get straighter, healthier teeth from Straight My Teeth. Affordable and flexible payment options are available, and initial assessments are cost and obligation-free. Get started now.
Charity urges us to ‘be proud of our smile’ as new research reveals most of us have anxieties about our teeth. (2019b, May 13). Oral Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/news/charity-urges-us-to-be-proud-of-our-smile-as-new-research-reveals-most-of-us-have-anxieties-about-our-teeth#:%7E:text=The%20research%20shows%20younger%20people,self%2Dconscious%20about%20their%20smile
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
How Much Do Braces Cost in the UK? Guide to Different Types. (2022b, January 18). Dentaly.Org. https://www.dentaly.org/en/braces-for-adults/
Foods to Avoid with Braces. (n.d.). Dental Associates. https://www.dentalassociates.com/dental-topics/foods-avoid-braces
Ke, Y., Zhu, Y., & Zhu, M. (2019). A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies. BMC oral health, 19(1), 24. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-018-0695-z
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Kishor Kumar Pradhan