Clear Aligners vs Braces
If you have teeth that are not aligned correctly, you have two different options: you can wear braces, or you can use a series of clear aligners. Both achieve the desired results of aligning your teeth, but they work in different ways and have different benefits. The team here at Atlantic Dentistry in Jacksonville, FL offers both, and often, it is up to the individual patient which option they decide to go with. Learning about these two options can help you select the one that works best for your lifestyle and oral health.
What Are Braces?
Braces are the older and more traditional solution to crooked teeth. They are a set of wires and brackets placed in the mouth that exert pressure on the teeth, moving them into the correct position. While some people might grimace at the mention of traditional braces, they have improved over the years. These are the most frequently used solutions in the field of orthodontics.
Patients cannot remove braces on their own, and once placed, they remain in the mouth until we remove them once the teeth have straightened. While there are some downsides to braces, they do get the desired results.
Benefits of Braces
While it may not seem like it, traditional braces do have their benefits. The biggest benefit is that, once they are placed and adjusted correctly, there is nothing the patient needs to do. They will need to make certain nothing gets stuck in the braces and that they are not damaged, but that is all. It may take a short amount of time to adjust to wearing them, but once the patient does, they may forget they even have braces. This is ideal for younger patients who may not necessarily always keep their aligners in place.
What Are Clear Aligners?
Part of the sweeping new technology of orthodontics, clear aligners or treatment trays, has grown in popularity. With no wires or brackets to move the teeth, they simply use a variety of clear trays to put gentle pressure on the teeth in order to get them to move. Aligners, sometimes referred to by the brand name Invisalign, are a series of clear plastic trays created from a series of computer models. Unlike braces, these aligners can be removed at any time. Each aligner moves the teeth slightly, and the patient changes aligners as directed, approximately every two weeks, over the course of a number of months.
Benefits of Clear Aligners
Many people choose clear aligners because, unlike braces, they are nearly invisible. Few people can actually tell when a patient is wearing an aligner. They also have no restrictions on what a patient can eat because the aligners are removed before meals. They are also removed when brushing and flossing, so there are no special care instructions or other issues. Clear aligners are ideal for older patients who have no problems leaving them in their mouths as directed.
The Benefits of Orthodontics
Whether you choose traditional metal braces or clear aligners, straightening your teeth can provide you with many benefits.
Crooked and misaligned teeth hinder brushing and flossing, leading to a buildup of food debris and bacteria. These, in turn, can cause tooth decay. By straightening your teeth, you will have an easier time caring for them and keeping them healthy. This is a concern for people of all ages, but as you age, your teeth suffer more wear and tear, making preserving your teeth even more important. Straightening your teeth can help you avoid unnecessary dental work and oral problems later on.
Better Overall Health
Dental problems are linked to a variety of complications in the rest of the body, cardiovascular disease and stroke among them. Your risk for diseases like these also increases as you age, so we should take action to protect you from them. It’s never too late to improve your eating and exercise habits, and it's not too late to improve your oral health habits either.
Gaps, spaces, and crooked teeth make one self-conscious and embarrassed about their appearance. But if you get your teeth straightened, you will enjoy the confidence and quality of life you deserve.
Age Is not a Hindrance to Orthodontics
Thanks to advances in dental technology, most orthodontic treatments have no age limit even in an age when people are living longer and longer. If your teeth are strong and healthy, we can help you straighten them out. However, if you have oral problems like tooth decay, periodontitis, or missing teeth, then we will need to address those before we can begin any form of orthodontic treatment.
Which Option is Right for You?
For some patients, braces are the best option. This is especially true for younger patients and those who may not be comfortable with the responsibility that comes with clear aligners. However, for patients who may be concerned about the visibility of braces, the dietary restrictions, or their comfort, clear aligners may be the right option. Most patients are able to decide which option to go with, although you will need to come in for a consultation to make certain you are a good candidate for both.
Braces and Other Options
Traditional metal braces are the most common option for straightening teeth, but if you don’t want the look they bring, we have other options. In addition to clear aligners, there are other options available as well. For example, ceramic braces are tooth-colored and less noticeable. Another option is lingual braces, which are attached to the back of the teeth and barely visible from the front.
Who Needs Aligners or Braces?
If your teeth are misaligned, clear aligners or braces are the solution to this orthodontic issue. Once straightened, your teeth will remain in their new positions, and you will have the perfect smile you may have always wanted. If you want to know more about these orthodontic options, call Atlantic Dentistry here in Jacksonville, FL at (904) 644-3020 today.