Common teeth straightening questions

Do I need straight teeth to have veneers?

Not always, but it can sometimes help. In some instances veneers can be used to straighten crooked teeth as well as change the colour and shape. However, this can sometimes present other clinical problems so we do occasionally straighten teeth first before placing veneers to adjust the shape or colour. In most instances though, braces are not required prior to having veneers.

What are the disadvantages of crooked teeth?

Apart from the cosmetic appearance of crooked teeth they are also a little more difficult to clean. The recommendation is that you use floss or interdental brushes to clean in between your teeth each day, if your teeth are crooked and overlapped this can become rather more difficult.

If you are not able to adequately clean between your teeth then acid excreting bacteria can lurk here and cause dental decay. In this respect, straighter teeth really can be healthier teeth.

Can I get my teeth straightened without braces?

Sometimes, yes. For very minor straightening of individual teeth you may like to consider dental bonding. This is where the dentist will apply a thin layer of tooth coloured resin to the front of your tooth, building the surface of the tooth up to meet its neighbouring teeth, this can give the illusion of straighten us.

It's also possible to use dental veneers to straighten crooked teeth, this is particularly useful if you also dislike the colour and/or shape of your teeth.

Using veneers and bonding to straighten crooked teeth also has the advantage of speed, veneers typically take three weeks from start to finish whereas braces could be up to 2 years.

Can you have a retainer without having braces?

Retainers are used to 'retain' the position of teeth after you have had braces, however a retainer is often colloquially used in layman's terms to describe a simple removable orthodontic appliance. If you have very minor teeth straightening to do then a small 'retainer type' of removable orthodontic appliance may be used.