How to Fix Crooked Teeth

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6 Ways to Fix Crooked Teeth (Malocclusion) 

Misaligned teeth are not uncommon, but they can make people feel self-conscious. You may have crooked teeth for a variety of reasons:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Premature loss of baby teeth 
  • Childhood habits like thumb sucking or using a pacifier
  • Facial or oral injuries
  • Poor dental hygiene

Fortunately, if you have crooked teeth, there are a wealth of ways to correct your teeth and give you that perfect smile. And, no, you don’t necessarily need braces to do it.

How to Fix Crooked Teeth With Braces

Braces are one of the most well-known ways to fix crooked teeth — and there are two different types of braces from which to choose.

  1. Traditional Metal Braces — Traditional braces are made from high-grade stainless steel. The metal brackets attach to each tooth with an orthodontic glue. The brackets are linked together with a thin archwire that attaches to them with tiny elastic ligatures. This structure puts pressure on the teeth, which slowly but effectively moves them into a straight position.
  2. Ceramic Braces — Ceramic braces are clear braces, also known as esthetic braces or porcelain braces. They’re the same shape and size as metal braces and work in largely the same way. The key difference is that they blend in with your teeth’s natural color, so they’re less noticeable. The only disadvantage is that they tend to be a bit more brittle than traditional metal braces.

How to Fix Crooked Teeth Without Braces

While braces are a common way to fix crooked teeth, you don’t necessarily need them. You also have other treatment options to straighten your teeth. Here’s how to fix crooked teeth without braces:

Clear Aligners 

Clear aligners, also known as invisible braces (such as from Invisalign, Byte, Candid, or Smile Direct Club), are removable plastic trays that fit over your teeth.

The clear tray is custom-made to gradually shift your teeth. Unlike traditional and ceramic braces that need to be tightened as the teeth move, these trays need to be replaced every one to two weeks.

bruxism mouthguard with protective case

While clear aligners are not necessarily as strong as traditional or ceramic braces, they are more aesthetically appealing for many people who don’t want the look of braces. One of the other advantages is that clear aligners can be removed while eating or drinking. But the best results come from wearing them for at least 20 to 22 hours per day. 

Cosmetic Dentistry Options

Cosmetic dentistry for teeth misalignment options includes veneers, dental bonds, and crowns.

While these dental care options don’t necessarily fix crooked teeth, they can enhance the appearance of crooked teeth by making them look straight. This can, in turn, boost your self-esteem with a more beautiful smile.

tooth in lower jaw with dental veneer
  • Veneers — Veneers are a simple aesthetic solution to crooked teeth that take less time than actually shifting straighter teeth. While they don’t actually straighten teeth, the composite or porcelain cover that’s applied over the front surface of your teeth can make your teeth look straight.
  • Dental bonds — Veneers cover the entire front of a tooth, while bonds cover a portion of your tooth. Bonding requires one office visit and is cost-effective, while veneers take two or more appointments. Bonds are also reversible, while some types of porcelain veneers are permanent.
  • Crowns — Crowns involve tooth restructuring, which is then followed by placing a porcelain or metal crown over the top of the teeth. However, dental crowns are typically only used for restorative reasons. 

How Much Does it Cost to Fix Crooked Teeth?

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 you decide which option is best for you.

Braces — $2,500-$8,000

Clear aligners and retainers — $3,500-$8,000


Discount dental plans could save you more than insurance.

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Porcelain Veneers — $925-$2,500 (per tooth)

Composite Veneers — $250-$1,500 (per tooth)

Removable Veneers — $470-$600 (for both upper and lower teeth impressions)

Lumineers — $800-$2,000 (per tooth)

Direct Composite Dental Bonding — $300-$600 (per tooth)

Direct Composite Veneer Bonding — $250-$1,500 (per tooth)

Indirect Dental Bonding (Inlays) — $650-$1,200 (per tooth)

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns — $875-$1,400 (per tooth)

Ceramic (Porcelain) Crowns — $800-$3,000 (per tooth)

Metal and Gold Crowns — $800-$1,400 (per tooth)

Stainless Steel Crowns — $300-$500 (per tooth)

All-Resin Crowns — $600-$1,300 (per tooth)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about crooked teeth.

How can I straighten my teeth fast?

You have multiple options to straighten your teeth fast, from braces to clear aligners to cosmetic dentistry. 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 may also impact your treatment time.

How do I fix one crooked tooth?

Fixing one crooked tooth is a lot easier than fixing a mouthful of crooked teeth. Traditional or ceramic braces may feel 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.

Do braces fix overbites?

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.

Can I fix an overbite without braces?

If your overbite isn’t too severe, clear aligners can indeed shift your teeth and your jawline to fix it. If it’s severe, you may need to talk to your orthodontist about a different treatment plan.


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Resources

“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/.

Updated on: September 9, 2020
Author
AnnaMarie Houlis
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Medically Reviewed: September 8, 2020
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Lara Coseo
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