Even if you didn't need braces as a kid or teenager, it's possible that over the years, you've developed crooked teeth. Your teeth can shift as you age, due to poor oral care habits or lost teeth. As a result, you might feel embarrassed to smile with your mouth open. To further complicate matters, the less straight your teeth are, the more likely you might be to have trouble with oral hygiene.
Don't worry, though. Whether you've had uneven teeth for as long as you can remember or whether they are a recent development, there are ways you can feel more confident and proud to show the world your smile.
Remember That Nobody's Perfect
In some cases, all it takes to feel more confident is a change in attitude. Just as you shouldn't go looking for imperfections in others, don't focus on your own physical imperfections. It's OK to be different! In some cases, people have built successful careers in modeling or acting, despite having less-than-perfect teeth. (Take a look at actor Laura Hutton or model Georgia May Jagger, for instance.)
You might not be thrilled about your teeth, but remember that they are a part of who you are. Embracing yourself, flaws and all, will help you feel more confident, not only about your smile but about every other aspect of your life.
Take Great Care of Your Teeth
Your teeth might not be perfectly straight, but that doesn't mean you should neglect them. Having teeth that are crooked or a bite that's misaligned can increase your risk for developing cavities, gum disease or other oral health problems.
That means you want to be as diligent as possible about keeping your teeth and gums clean. For starters, it's important to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, which helps strengthen enamel and reduce your risk for cavities. A soft-bristled toothbrush will clean your teeth without causing too much wear and tear on your enamel. Flossing at least once a day will help you clean any tough-to-reach places and lower your risk for decay or gum disease.
Your dentist can be a great ally when it comes to keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Along with deep cleaning your teeth and gums, your dentist can make recommendations about treatments that will further improve your oral health or provide suggestions for treatments that will straighten or correct your teeth for the long-term.
Cover Your Teeth With Veneers
While it's possible to feel confident with crooked teeth, you have options for concealing them. One option is cover your teeth with veneers. If you get veneers, to the eye, it's like you've instantly corrected your uneven teeth. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that a dentist places over your natural teeth. They correct some misalignment or crookedness, but won't work so well if your teeth are severely crooked.
Correct Your Teeth With Orthodontics
Although veneers can last from seven up to 20 years, as the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry notes, they don't actually correct or straighten your teeth. If you're looking to correct the misalignment or crookedness, you'll want to look to orthodontics.
You have a number of options when it comes to braces. Traditional braces cost less than Damon braces, but they still aren't cheap. Braces may run up to $7,000. Another drawback is that you may be self-conscious of your metallic smile, and you may be stuck with it for a few years.
Clear plastic aligners can be ideal if you're worried about feeling self-conscious about your orthodontia. The treatment time is usually shorter too. According to the maker of clear plastic aligners, the average adult needs to wear the aligner for about 12 months. While aligners are more difficult to see, the trade-off tends to be a higher price tag; up to $8,000, according to the manufacturer.
It's not what you look like on the outside that matters. It's how you feel inside. Focus on what makes you unique and on ways to keep yourself healthy and happy and you'll feel better long before you're able to correct your teeth.