There’s nothing like a beautiful smile and a set of straight, white teeth. But issues like crowded teeth can make a smile less than perfect, affecting not only your confidence but potentially your oral health.
Can you straighten your crowded teeth at home? Let’s talk about it!
$14.95 impression kit, PLUS $200 off aligners
What Are Crowded Teeth?
Ideally, your teeth should line up neatly side-by-side and touch one another. But when you have crowded teeth (also called dental crowding), your teeth are packed together in a way that causes them to be misaligned. Some teeth may be too far forward, too far back, angled, overlapping, or any combination of those traits. Dentists classify cases of teeth crowding as mild, moderate, or severe.
Clear aligners are an option for mild to moderate tooth crowding. We’ll talk more about them in a moment. But first, let’s answer a few questions about tooth crowding.
What Causes Teeth Crowding?
Teeth crowding can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Genetics – Many cases of teeth crowding are genetic.
- Macrodontia – Larger than average teeth can cause crowding.
- Childhood habits – Children who suck their thumb or bottle feed longer than normal may experience crowding.
- Lost teeth or accidents – Missing or damaged teeth that are not addressed can cause tooth position to change.
- Retaining one or more primary (baby) teeth for too long – This can prevent the proper eruption of permanent teeth.
- Lack of dental care – Things like poor-fitting crowns or tooth damage that wasn’t addressed after an accident can lead to crowding.
What about wisdom teeth? Whether keeping wisdom teeth leads to crooked or crowded front teeth has been a topic of debate among dentists for many years with no clear answer. Currently, a moderate majority of oral surgeons and orthodontists do not recommend removing wisdom teeth to prevent crowding.
What Happens When Your Teeth Are Crowded?
You may think of crowded teeth as nothing more than an aesthetic issue – you just don’t like the way their teeth look.
But dental crowding can lead to more serious consequences. If the crowding is severe enough, keeping your teeth clean through regular flossing and brushing may be more difficult. This can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss if oral health is neglected.
Having crowded teeth can also create a misaligned or irregular bite. This means when you bite down, your top and bottom teeth don’t meet the way they should. An irregular bite can result in uneven wear on teeth which can remove the top protective layer of enamel. It can also put excessive strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and lead to TMD (temporomandibular disorder), which can cause pain and/or clicking in the jaw, pain in the ear, chronic headaches, and more.
As you can see, it’s not just about looks – crowded teeth can affect your oral health, physical health, and quality of life. It’s worth consulting your dentist to talk about treatment options.
How Do You Fix Crowded Teeth?
Every case of tooth crowding is different. Talk to your dentist about straightening your crowded teeth at your next check-up or make an appointment with an orthodontist. You can find out how long treatment would take, how much it would cost, and what results to expect.
Can Byte Clear Aligners Fix Crowded Teeth at Home?
Sometimes, mild and moderate cases of crowding can be fixed at home with clear aligners. If you’re a candidate for clear aligners, you may be able to spare yourself multiple dentist or orthodontist visits and, potentially, years of treatment. Clear aligners cost thousands less than braces. Monthly financing is available, or they may also be covered by insurance.
With Byte clear aligners, you snap a clear plastic tray onto your teeth, which applies gentle pressure to move your teeth into the proper position over time. The trays are removable for cleaning, which can reduce the risk of cavities. When used daily, their Hyperbyte technology also helps to reduce discomfort and speed up treatment time.
Your clear aligner journey starts with your at-home impression kit. (Get it for only $14.95 + $200 off your aligners with your ID.me verified account!) This kit helps to determine the severity of the crowding and whether you’re a good candidate for aligners. (If your crowding is too severe, another type of treatment, such as orthodontia, may be necessary.) Next, a doctor reviews your impression to determine your needs, and you are able to choose between the Day or Night plan. Once chosen, your aligners are shipped directly to you. You’ll follow a treatment plan and swap your trays out periodically as your teeth move into their new position.
Aligners can work quickly! If your crowding issue is mild, you may only need the tools for a few months, not years.
If you’re concerned about crowded teeth, consult your dentist first to learn about your options. If you’re a candidate for clear aligners, companies like Byte offer doctor-guided treatment with at-home convenience.