There are many reasons why someone might choose to avoid teeth straightening procedures. They might be embarrassed by wearing braces or they may have worn braces when they were younger but stopped wearing their retainer.

Perhaps they just simply don’t see what the big deal is about having teeth that are crooked.

Unfortunately, having crooked teeth can lead to a variety of health and dental problems, not just aesthetic ones.

Luckily, if you’re trying to figure out how to make teeth straight, there are now a variety of options out there to help you do it.

Continue reading and we’ll walk you through some of the popular methods for straightening teeth.

Traditional Braces

Over 4 million Americans currently wear braces. And one-quarter of those people are adults.

If your interested in straightening your teeth, getting braces is one of the most effective methods for doing it.

How It Works

Braces work by moving your teeth into a desired position. They accomplish this task by putting pressure on your teeth for long periods of time.

The shape of your jaw will gradually shift to conform to the pressure.

Many people imagine that their teeth are directly connected to the jawbone. In reality, there is a membrane under the gums that roots the teeth to the jaw.

This membrane is what controls how the teeth are positioned and it responds to the pressure that braces place upon the teeth.

It takes between one and two hours for braces to be installed. This process shouldn’t hurt but you may feel soreness for the first week or so. You also might feel soreness each time your braces are adjusted.

Once your teeth are dry and clean, your orthodontist will use glue to apply either stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic brackets to your teeth. It might be uncomfortable to have these brackets installed but it won’t cause pain.

These brackets are surrounded and connected by wires made of copper titanium, nickel-titanium, or stainless steel.

Elastic bands, called ligatures or O-rings, are then placed around the brackets after they’ve been installed on your teeth. These bands add to the pressure that’s on your jaw.

The archwires will connect the brackets that are on your teeth. They are the tool that applies the pressure to your teeth so they move into place. Archwires can be made out of copper titanium, nickel-titanium, or stainless steel.


People usually wear braces for one to three years.

After getting your braces installed, you should avoid certain foods that can get stuck between the braces and your gums. These foods include chewing gum, popcorn, and hard candy.

While you wear braces, you’re going to have to visit your orthodontist every 8 weeks or so for adjustments.

You should brush after every meal in order to prevent food from getting lodged in your teeth and braces. You can also get special floss from your orthodontist.

A Waterpik flosser can also help you more easily keep your teeth free of food. Also, when you have braces, you should still schedule check-ups with your dentist every six months.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are custom-made mouthpieces that fit over a person’s teeth. Invisalign is the largest producer of aligners but they’re not the only producer.

Aligners are an effective alternative to traditional braces and is becoming increasingly popular among consumers.

With that said, aligners are not the same as traditional braces and thus there are certain situations where it’s not as effective.

The main factors which determine if aligners are right for you are what you would like to fix and how severe your case is.

Aligners work best with mild to moderate cases and are generally used to treat mild overbite, gapped teeth, and crowded teeth.

Once it’s decided that you’re a good candidate for clear aligners, detailed records will be taken. These records include digital x-rays, a digital scan of the teeth by using an iTero scanner, and photos of your face and teeth.

After these records are complete, they’re then sent to the aligners manufacturer with detailed instructions on how your orthodontist wants your teeth to be moved.

Then, by using advanced 3D computer imaging technology, your doctor will make a complete treatment from the original position of your teeth to the final desired stage.

Once the review is finished, the producer will create your custom-made clear aligners. Aligners are also referred to as trays.

It usually takes up to 5 weeks to receive your aligners after impressions are made.

How It Works

You will wear each set of your clear aligners for one to two weeks at a time. The trays are designed so that your teeth will move in small increments. So each set of trays are going to work to make your teeth slightly straighter.

By putting pressure on your teeth, your teeth will be moved in order to match the aligner.

You’ll have to visit your doctor once every several weeks in order to make sure that the treatment is going as planned. The total treatment time can last from one year to one and a half years.

People usually go through 20 to 50 aligners during treatment.


When your aligners are in, you should wear them pretty much the entire time. Most people wear their aligners for around 22 hours a day.

By wearing your trays for this amount of time, your teeth should move to their final positions.

If your teeth aren’t in the correct position by the time you move on to the next aligner, the trays won’t fit as well as they should. By the time you get several aligners down, the fit of the trays will noticeably be off.

You should take off your aligners whenever you eat and whenever you drink anything other than water. You should also brush your aligners whenever you brush your teeth.

After you’ve completed your treatment with aligners, your orthodontist will most likely recommend that you wear a retainer. As we get older, our teeth can shift and all of the work that the aligners put in can be undone if our straight teeth are not maintained.

Make sure to get your clear aligners from a trusted dentist like those at

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are basically the same as traditional braces except their installed behind your teeth instead of in front of your teeth. These are typically preferred by working adults and image-conscious teens.

Lingual braces aren’t effective for everyone, however. For example, those with very deep overbites might run into the risk of their brackets popping off.

It’s also important to note that lingual braces will essentially give you a temporary lisp. This is because, when you speak, your tongue needs to touch the backs of your teeth in order to make certain sounds.

Because the brackets on the back sides of your teeth, your speech will become affected when you get lingual braces installed. At least at the beginning of the treatment.

By using speech therapy techniques, some patients are able to over the lingual braces-induced lisp.

Either way, your tongue should eventually become accustomed to the braces and your speech will then return to normal. This can take longer than a month for some people.


Like traditional braces, you’re likely to experience some discomfort at the start of your treatment. This pain is usually felt as a dull ache and can be relieved by over the counter medications.

During this time, it’s best to eat soft foods like soft-boiled eggs, rice, and yogurt until the pain goes away.

Braces can also cause pain when they come into contact with the soft tissues inside the mouth. When you have lingual braces, the tongue becomes a common source for pain because of where the brackets are located.

Lately, manufacturers of lingual brackets have been making their products smoother and smaller in order to reduce pain.

Topical tooth pain relief gels can also be applied over sharp edges on the brackets. And if a wire is scratching or poking, you can contact your orthodontist to have that problem fixed.

An orthodontist can clip wires so that they don’t hurt you.

Orthodontic Headgear

Headgear is an appliance used by orthodontists in order to support proper jaw alignment and growth and to correct bite. It’s normally recommended for children whose jaws are still growing.

Headgear, unlike braces, is worn partially outside of the user’s mouth. An unaligned bite is also known as a malocclusion. This means that the lower and upper teeth aren’t fitting together the way that they should.

Malocclusion comes in three classes and headgear is used to fix Class II and Class III misalignment. Headgear can also be used to fix overcrowding teeth.

Types of Headgear

Someone with a malocclusion known as an overjet will use cervical pull headgear. An overjet is categorized by protruding front teeth and a protruding top jaw. This is sometimes referred to as buck teeth.

You can also fix an overbite with cervical headgear. This kind of headgear utilizes strap behind the cervical vertebrae, or neck. The straps attach to braces in the mouth.

In order to correct an overbite or overjet, a high-pull headgear is used. It uses straps that are attached from the back and top of the head to the upper jaw.

Children whose teeth have an open bite that’s categorized by no contact between their bottom and top front teeth often use high-pull headgear. Children with excessive jaw growth in the back of the mouth also use this kind of headgear.

The Parts

A head cap sits on the user’s head. It provides an anchor for the rest of the mechanism.

The fitting straps that are attached will depend on the type of headgear that you get. High-pull headgear uses multiple straps that wrap around the back of the head. Cervical headgear, on the other hand, utilizes one fitting strap that attaches to the head cap that’s placed behind the neck.

The facebow is a U-shaped appliance made out of metal. It’s attached with tubes or bands to the straps, head cap, and molars.

The hooks, tubes, and elastic bands are used to anchor the different parts of the headgear to the user’s molars and other teeth.

Headgear that’s made to fix an underbite will usually have a chin cup attached to the forehead pad with wires. This kind of headgear doesn’t call for a head cap. Instead, it uses a wire frame that runs from the chin cup to the forehead pad.

A horizontal mouth yoke is housed in the frame.

Some forms of headgear also use bands or hooks to attach to braces that are worn in the mouth on either the lower or upper teeth. Not all headgear comes with braces though.


Headgear is only successful when the user wears it for the instructed amount of time. This can be 12 hours a day or longer.

It makes sense why children wouldn’t want to wear headgear at school or outside in general. Because of this, many orthodontists recommend that children put the headgear on as soon as they get home from school and wear it until they have to leave the house the next day.

The more a person wears headgear, the faster the job will be completed. Unfortunately, by skipping on wearing your headgear, the progress can also quickly go away.

The Importance of Knowing How to Make Teeth Straight

By knowing how to make teeth straight, you can figure out which options would work best for you or your loved ones. There are enough options out there that you should be able to find one that comfortably fits your situation.

Interested in reading more helpful lifestyle articles? Check out the rest of our blog today!