Do you sometimes look at yourself in the mirror and sigh? You may inadvertently put your hand in front of your mouth whenever you smile, as you're very self-conscious about your teeth. Certainly, you wish that you had taken time to straighten them out when you were a youngster so that you wouldn't face such issues today. However, if you're really worried about the situation, you should talk with a dental professional, as solutions are available even at your "advanced" age! What do you need to know?

Understanding the Technology

Orthodontic appliances, colloquially known as braces, have been used for some time by dental professionals to help straighten teeth from their original position. These are essentially flexible devices that can be attached to the back or front teeth and through which pressure is gently applied over time.


Using the traditional method, tiny wires are threaded through brackets and "wound up" to provide a certain amount of tension against the natural tendency of the teeth to move. This tension will then apply a counterforce in an opposing direction and will gently "coax" each tooth so that it begins to straighten into its required position. As the tension within each wire increases, the tooth will have no choice but to move in the direction specified by the dentist and over time, magic will happen.

How Is This Possible?

You may wonder how your teeth are able to move at all, as they seem to be securely attached to the bone structure beneath. Actually, the tooth is fixed through flexible ligaments that contain a certain amount of elasticity designed to accommodate growth or movement, and this makes it possible for your braces to work.

To be even more technical, you should understand that the tissue surrounding your gums is in a constant state of change as time goes by. The structure of some ligaments and bone will develop, while other sections reabsorb and disappear, and your teeth will fit in with this complex process as the braces do their work.

Detailed Planning

Before the dentist begins, they will have a look at a variety of different images and x-rays to understand what issues you may be facing. They will be able to use computerised technology to plan how each individual tooth moves in a specific direction and over a prescribed distance.

Invisible to the Eye

There is even more good news for anyone who is very self-conscious like yourself. The latest technology is less obtrusive, and you may be able to use braces or aligners that are very difficult to see in the normal course of conversation. Have a word with your dental professional to see what is right for you.

For more information on Invisalign braces, contact your local dental office.