As a child, you might not have worried too much about overlaps or gaps in your smile. As an adult, however, such issues can plague you with self-doubt. Everyone knows how important a smile is in making a first impression, so you naturally want your smile to convey youth, beauty, and confidence. Unfortunately, your crooked teeth could throw a wrench in the works.

The good news is that there are several potential solutions to explore. You might think orthodontic braces are the only option, but this simply isn’t true. Sometimes they are the best solution for severely misaligned teeth and/or jaws, but most adults aren’t keen to spend two years (or more) in braces.

What’s the alternative? Cosmetic dentistry could provide the quick fix you’re seeking when it comes to your smile. If you’re sick of living with crooked teeth, here are a few cosmetic options that could deliver speedy results.

INVISALIGN

Technically, this falls under the category of orthodontia, but you’ll be happy to hear that it doesn’t require you to wear orthodontic braces for two years. Invisible aligner trays are ideal for mild misalignment issues, and they could deliver a straight smile in as little as about six months to a year.

You’ll be provided with invisible trays that you swap out for new ones every few weeks to keep your teeth moving in the right direction. Best of all, you can remove them to eat or clean your teeth, unlike traditional braces. You just have to see your dentist to determine if Invisalign will work for you.

CONTOURING AND BONDING

If you suffer from relatively minor issues when it comes to crooked teeth, such as mild overlaps, gaps, or teeth that have uneven edges, you may find that simple cosmetic procedures like contouring and bonding will suffice. The process begins with x-rays to assess the teeth, after which your dentist will use a drill to shave away enamel and reshape teeth. From there, bonding materials can be added until teeth look perfectly straight.

VENEERS

In some cases, teeth will be too crooked for either Invisalign or reshaping procedures to help. If you still want to avoid braces, your next option is veneers. This porcelain overlay is applied to the front of teeth after they’ve been drilled down significantly, providing you with a perfect, straight smile and instant gratification. Eventually, veneers will require replacement, but they should last as long as 10-20 years or more with proper care.