I have crooked teeth but feel I am too old for braces. I’ve heard about a dental flipper that can snap onto your teeth and make them look straight. Will this really work?

Theresa

Dear Theresa,

A dental flipper

A dental flipper

I think whoever told you this had a dental flipper confused with the snap-on smile. A dental flipper is used to replace a missing tooth. It does not fit over a tooth. In case someone reading this is looking into tooth replacement options, a flipper is considered a temporary replacement. It’s inexpensive and people use it to give themselves a “tooth” while they save up for a permanent replacement, such as a dental implant.

Having a Straight Smile Without Braces

Snap-on Smile is something that will snap over your teeth in order to make them look better. They will not look stunning, like they would with porcelain veneers but they will look okay. They are more suitable for something like a photoshoot or one-night class reunion. They are made of acrylic and would need to be replaced every few years.

An image of Invisalign aligners

These days we have better options than ye olde fashioned traditional braces. Now, there is Invisalign. Instead of metal wires and brackets, it uses clear aligners. These are invisible, even at a conversational distance. These are more comfortable than braces and work in significantly less time.

You can go with the snap-on smile and it will give you a decent temporary solution. My suggestion, however, would be to plan long term and get Invisalign. It has an additional hidden benefit of enabling you to whiten your teeth at the same time as you straighten them. The aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. It is like getting a mini smile makeover at a fraction of the cost.

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