Crooked teeth are not uncommon, but can make you feel self-conscious. You may have crooked teeth for a variety of reasons:
Teeth misalignment can occur at any age. When detected early, these issues can be easily resolved with treatments like braces, headgear, or clear aligners. Waiting to fix crooked teeth can lead to oral health issues like gum disease or cavities (because misaligned teeth are more difficult to clean).
Jaw pain, headaches, and other problems can also occur if your teeth are severely misaligned.
Clear aligners are a safe and effective treatment for crowded teeth, gapped teeth, and some cases of overbites and underbites.
Fortunately, if you have crooked teeth, there are many ways to fix and enhance your smile. And you don’t necessarily need braces to do it.
Braces are one of the most well-known ways to fix crooked teeth — and there are three types of braces to choose from:
Yes, as long as your teeth aren't severely misaligned. Here are some alternative options:
Clear aligners, also known as invisible braces (e.g., Invisalign, Byte, Candid, and SmileDirectClub), are removable plastic trays that fit over your teeth.
The clear trays are custom-made to gradually shift your teeth. Unlike traditional and ceramic braces that need to be tightened as your teeth move, these trays are replaced every one to two weeks.
While clear aligners are not necessarily as strong as traditional or ceramic braces, they are more aesthetically appealing to many people who don’t like the look of braces.
Another advantage of clear aligners is that they are removable and easy to clean (unlike brace). For best results, you have to wear the aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours per day.
There are two types of clear aligner options:
Invisalign is the most established in-office aligner brand. These FDA-approved aligners stand out in the industry because they are made of a patented thermoplastic material (called SmartTrack®). Invisalign claims this material is more comfortable, accurate, and discreet.
Invisalign treatment is monitored in person. Your dental office acts as the ‘middleman,’ which means you’ll receive a higher standard of care. However, this also means the aligners will be more expensive than at-home options.
Byte® is a popular at-home aligner brand that offers quick teeth straightening at an affordable price. Every byte customer receives a HyperByte®, which is an FDA-cleared dental movement acceleration device that safely straightens teeth faster with HFV (high-frequency vibration). You only have to wear it for 5 minutes a day (10 minutes a day for night aligners). Byte aligners cost under $2,000.
Read our clear aligners vs braces comparison to learn which treatment is better for you.
Candid Co is another well-known brand of remote aligners. This brand works exclusively with orthodontists who have at least 20 years of experience in the industry. This ensures you receive high-quality care from a professional.
Candid is also the most expensive at-home aligner brand ($2,400). However, they have excellent customer service and a detailed onboarding process. The digital check-ins are also more comprehensive than other at-home aligners.
Veneers, dental bonds, and crowns are three cosmetic dentistry options for mildly crooked teeth.
While these options don’t actually fix crooked teeth, they can enhance their appearance by making them look straight.
Veneers are a simple aesthetic solution for crooked teeth. These composite or porcelain shells cover the front surface of teeth to make them look straight. Most types of veneers are expensive and permanent.
Veneers cover the entire front surface of a tooth, while bonds only cover a portion of a tooth. Bonding requires one office visit and is cost-effective, while veneers take two or more appointments. Bonds are also reversible.
This procedure involves tooth restructuring, which is then followed by placing a porcelain or metal crown over the top of the tooth. Dental crowns are typically only used for restorative reasons (rarely for cosmetic purposes).
Clip-on veneers are cheap, custom-made removable veneers. Snap-on Smile and Alpha Veneers are two of the most popular brands.
The Snap-On Smile process takes place at a dental office and typically costs $1,000 to $3,500 per arch. Some dentists may charge as low as $500 per arch.
'Occasional Wear Alpha Veneers' cost $299 for a single arch and $499 for both. 'Regular Wear Alpha Veneers' cost $549 for a single arch and $749 for a dual arch.
Alpha Veneers cost less because they are a direct-to-consumer company. Their treatment model is similar to that of at-home clear aligners like byte, Candid Co, and ALIGNERCO.
The first step is to order an impression kit online. After you take the impressions at home, you'll send them back to the company. Then your impression is sent to a dental lab, where technicians will create a custom-made set of veneers. These veneers are mailed back to you within a few weeks.
The cost of fixing a crooked smile varies depending on the structure of your teeth and jawline, your dental health, and the orthodontic treatment you choose.
Your orthodontist can help decide which option is best for you:
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about crooked teeth:
There are a few ways to straighten teeth fast, including braces, clear aligners, and certain cosmetic dental treatments. All of these solutions are effective, but exactly how long it will take to straighten your teeth depends on how crooked they are.
Other factors such as dental insurance (or lack thereof), budget, and oral health standing may also impact your treatment time.
Fixing one crooked tooth is a lot easier than fixing a mouthful of crooked teeth.
Traditional or ceramic braces may be unnecessary, but clear aligners could help. Likewise, getting a single veneer or dental bond to adjust the appearance of your crooked tooth could also correct your smile.
Yes, most braces can fix an overbite or underbite by putting pressure on the teeth to align them properly.
Depending on the severity of the overbite, you may need to wear your braces for longer to get a well-aligned, straight smile.
If your overbite is not severe, Invisalign may be able to shift your teeth and jawline. If it is severe, talk to your orthodontist about a different treatment plan.
“3 Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Can Fix Crooked Teeth: Shippensburg.” Dr. Zachary S. Sisler, DDS, 5 May 2020, www.drsisler.com/2019/06/01/3-ways-cosmetic-dentistry-can-fix-crooked-teeth/.
“Different Types of Orthodontic Braces & How To Know Which Is Right For You.” CHT Orthodontics, 13 Apr. 2017, chtortho.com/types-of-braces.
“Invisalign, Braces or Surgery – Which Is Best to Fix Your Overbite?” Dentistry for Madison LLC Invisalign Braces or Surgery Which Is Best to Fix Your Overbite Comments, www.dentistryformadison.com/invisalign-braces-or-surgery-which-is-best-to-fix-your-overbite/.
Markham, Dr. “The Best Way to Straighten One or Two Crooked Teeth.” Markham Orthodontics, 18 Dec. 2017, www.markhamorthodontics.com/best-way-straighten-one-two-crooked-teeth/.
“How to Fix Crowded or Crooked Teeth?” Rome Orthodontics, 3 Dec. 2019, www.romeorthodontics.com/blog/crooked-teeth/.