Having straight teeth not only looks good, it also is much better for your oral health. This is because straight teeth are much easier to keep clean; there are fewer nooks and crannies for food to hide away and rot in, and fewer hard-to-reach places for plaque to build up in. This means fewer infections, and less decay or gum disease. And that means you stand a good chance of hanging onto your natural teeth for your entire life, just as Nature intended.
This is all great stuff, yet if you are an adult reading this, you may well be thinking something along the lines of ‘Well, if only that applied to me, but it’s far too late. I am too old to have my teeth moved’.
The good news is that you are not too old, and you never will be. Your teeth can be moved in your jawbone, no matter what your age is. All it takes is sustained pressure, and your jawbone removes bone cells on one side of it and builds it up on the other side to relieve that pressure.
That’s the biology of teeth, but what about the aesthetics of braces? Not many adults want to suffer the lack of dignity that comes from wearing brackets and wires iconic of those awkward early teenage years.
You don’t have to deal with the train track look at the Dental Surgery Burnham, in Burnham. In fact, you can wear a device that is as good as invisible once it is in place over your teeth. This is the incredible transparent plastic aligner system from Invisalign. Aligners look like mouth guards, but much thinner. They are designed to push the teeth into alignment rather than pull them.
Instead of wearing one fixed brace where the wires are progressively tightened to move the teeth, you wear a series of 12–48 aligners, each one for about two weeks, that gently nudge the teeth along in tiny increments until they line up perfectly.
The aligners are removable for eating and cleaning, and so are much more convenient, as long as you wear them for at least 20 hours a day so they can do their work on schedule.