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Spring Issue

CareCheckup

Dentistry

5 teeth straightening options to improve your smile

Are crooked teeth causing you to hide your smile or even avoid certain social events? Do you think fixing your smile involves years of braces? Then we have good news for you: Now, children and adults have more options than ever for straightening teeth or correcting an uneven bite. Even better news: Today’s orthodontic treatments include less invasive materials, removable appliances — even shorter treatment times.

  1. Traditional braces consist of fixed brackets, wires and elastic bands that work together to move teeth into their new position. Today’s braces are smaller and lighter than previous versions, and you can even choose your color preference.
  2. Clear teeth aligners such as Invisalign®, include a series of custom-made, removable aligners that you wear like a retainer. The aligners are replaced approximately every two weeks until teeth shift into their new position. The aligners are less noticeable than traditional braces and are easily removed for eating, brushing and flossing.
  3. Damon braces include self-litigating brackets — that is, brackets that use a slide mechanism instead of elastic bands to hold the wires in place. While they’re less noticeable than traditional brackets, and treatment time may be shorter, this can also be a more expensive option.
  4. Lingual braces often referred to as invisible braces, are placed on the inside of the teeth and hidden from view. They can be an ideal option for those who don’t want the appearance of braces. Lingual braces are customized and may be more expensive than traditional braces.
  5. Short-term treatment, such as Six Month Smiles, can be an ideal option for patients who want cosmetic straightening benefits but who do not need complex bite corrections. The shorter treatment time and lower cost compared to traditional braces make these an appealing option for the right candidates.

Average costs and length of treatment

The cost of braces can range from $2,500 to $7,000 and can vary based on treatment time and the type of materials used. Braces are typically worn from 18 to 24 months, with the exception of short-term treatment. Treatment times can also vary based on your condition and treatment plan. Post-treatment care often includes wearing either a fixed or removable retainer to hold teeth in their new position.

It’s important to care for teeth, gums and appliances during orthodontic treatment. Brush, floss, avoid sticky or hard foods, and follow any instructions from your dental care provider.

Enjoy the benefits of an improved smile

Orthodontic treatment can result in more than a pretty smile. Straightening your teeth and correcting a misaligned bite can improve your overall oral health and make it more comfortable to bite down and enjoy your favorite foods.

If you’re thinking about improving your smile, discuss teeth straightening options with your dental provider who can help you determine the best treatment to achieve your desired results. Remember that CareCredit provides a convenient way to pay for care not covered by insurance. Use CareCredit's Acceptance Locator or Mobile App to find a nearby dental care provider who accepts CareCredit.

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