It is impossible to straighten one's own teeth at home by pushing on them, and doing so can result in tooth loosening or tooth loss, warns Vincent G. Kokich, a private practice orthodontist. He explains that teeth only move when under constant pressure, so intermittently pushing on one's own teeth cannot straighten them. Orthodontic braces, which come in various forms, are necessary to achieve a straight smile.
The main options for braces include traditional wire braces, lingual braces, ceramic braces and clear aligners, explains Oral-B. Traditional wire braces and ceramic braces both fit in front of the teeth, although ceramic braces are somewhat less noticeable. Lingual braces fit behind the teeth, making them mostly invisible to others, but they come with some drawbacks, such as that they are ineffective for some severe cases and require more complicated adjustments. Clear aligners are virtually invisible and removable, allowing patients to brush normally and eat whatever foods they want. Invisalign and ClearCorrect are two companies offering clear aligners, as of 2014.
Although braces are necessary to align teeth, Bow Lane Dental Group notes that there are ways some patients can achieve the look of straight teeth without undergoing orthodontic treatment. The group explains that crowns, veneers and composite bonding can sometimes mask minor misalignments, creating the look of straight teeth. Another option that the group mentions is the Inman Aligner, which is only able to align the front teeth but can do so in as little as six weeks' time.