How to Fix Crooked Teeth

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Medically Reviewed
by Dr. Lara Coseo
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Evidence Based
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What Causes Crooked Teeth?

Crooked teeth are not uncommon, but can make you 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

Teeth misalignment can occur at any age. When detected early, these issues can be easily resolved with treatments like braces, headgear, cosmetic dentistry, or clear aligners.

Should You Straighten Crooked Teeth?

Yes.

Overlapping teeth are more difficult to clean and can lead to bite problems. As a result, you're at a higher risk for the following:

  • Gum disease and cavities
  • Tooth damage (due to a bad bite)
  • Speech problems
  • Low self-esteem
  • Jaw pain, potentially leading to TMJ disorders
  • Headaches
  • Poor chewing abilities
  • Digestive issues

Aligners Crash Course

Clearing Things Up About At-Home Aligners

Are you interested in straightening your teeth, but don’t know where to start? Become confident in at-home aligner therapy with our crash course.

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.

4 Ways to Fix Crooked Teeth

Here are the top 4 ways to fix crooked teeth:

1. Braces

Braces are one of the most well-known ways to fix crooked teeth. There are three types of braces to choose from:

  1. Traditional metal braces — traditional braces are made of high-grade stainless steel. The metal brackets attach to each tooth using an orthodontic glue. The brackets are attached together with a thin archwire that has tiny elastic ligatures. This structure puts pressure on your teeth, slowly moving them into the correct position.
  2. Ceramic braces — ceramic braces are clear braces, also known as esthetic or porcelain braces. They’re the same shape and size as metal braces and work in the same way. The key difference is that they blend in with your natural tooth color, so they’re less noticeable. The main disadvantage is that they tend to be slightly more brittle than traditional metal braces.
  3. Lingual braces — lingual braces attach to the back of your teeth (where your tongue hits when you speak). Traditional braces use a wire that is bent into a horseshoe form. However, the wire on lingual braces can be custom fixed to the contours of your mouth. This process can potentially shorten treatment time. You may have a temporary lisp or speech interference when you first start treatment.

2. Clear Aligners

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 braces). 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:

  1. In-office aligners (like Invisalign) are the most well-known option because they have been around the longest. You have to visit a licensed Invisalign doctor to receive these aligners, and the treatment process is more extensive. These aligners are recommended for patients who have complex cases of teeth misalignment. 
  2. At-home aligners, also called direct-to-consumer aligners, are significantly cheaper than in-office aligners. Treatment is completed 100% remotely and you will not visit a dentist or orthodontist for in-person checkups. Treatment is also not monitored as closely, so there is a slightly higher risk for error. 
Best Clear Aligner Brands

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. 

Candid is a reputable brand of at-home 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.

As of October 2021, Candid aligners now cost $1,895 ($505 less than the original price). They have excellent customer service and a detailed onboarding process.

Unlike Invisalign, treatment is monitored 100% remotely through the CandidApp. You’ll send in progress photos every two weeks. After you submit the photos, you’ll hear back from your orthodontist within a few hours.

No other aligner brand has an in-depth teledentistry platform like Candid. To begin treatment, order an impression kit online or visit a Candid Studio near you (best option).

3. Cosmetic Dentistry Options

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.

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Traditional Veneers

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.

Removable Veneers

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.

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.


Read our clear aligners vs braces comparison to learn which treatment is better for you.


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.

Dental Bonding

Veneers cover the entire front surface of a tooth, while bonds only cover a portion of a tooth.

Dental bonding requires one office visit and is cost-effective, while veneers take two or more appointments. Bonds are also reversible.

Dental Crowns

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). 

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 decide which option is best for you:

ServicePrice
Braces$2,500-$8,000
Clear aligners$1,200-$8,000
Dental bonding$250-$1,500 (per tooth)
Veneers$470-$2,500 (per tooth)
Dental crowns$300-$3,000 (per tooth)

Key Takeaways

  • Braces — including traditional, ceramic, and lingual — are the most common and effective way to fix crooked teeth.
  • Some other options include clear aligners (second best) and cosmetic dentistry (like veneers, crowns, and bonding).
  • Braces and traditional veneers are the most expensive options. At-home aligners annd removable veneers are less expensive.
  • Braces are typically necessary for severely crooked teeth. Aligners work for most minor to moderate cases.
  • Veneers, bonding, and crowns are ideal for very minor cases of misalignment. These are cosmetic procedures that don't address orthodontic concerns.

Common Questions & Answers

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

How can I straighten my teeth fast?

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.

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 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.

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 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.

How can I fix crooked teeth cheap?

The best cheap options for fixing crooked and misaligned teeth include removable veneers and at-home aligners like byte or Candid.

However, these treatment options only work for minor to moderate misalignment cases. If you have severe dental crowding, more invasive treatment will be necessary.

What’s Next?

Clear aligners and traditional braces are the most popular orthodontic treatments. Learn about the pros and cons of both.

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/.

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