If you want to mend crowded or crooked teeth, but do not want to wear wires and braces, you might find clear aligners more appealing. These appliances are comfortable and offer a more discreet method for straightening teeth. Aligners such as Invisalign® have a unique design that helps shape irregular gapped teeth, and corrects crooked teeth.
1. They Are Invisible
This is the most obvious feature of clear aligners such as Invisalign®. These appliances are almost undetectable while being worn on the teeth, and eliminate the need for brackets and metal wires.
Surveys have shown that teenagers and children spend much of their time trying to blend in with their peers. However, most teens wearing metal braces claim that this prevents them from blending in fully. This could lead to problems such as depression and anxiety, and in turn, lower self-confidence. Teens who wear clear aligners are likely to experience higher self-esteem and are willing to smile more while wearing their appliances, as compared to teens sporting metal braces.
For adults, if your occupation requires a lot of interaction with people, your smile plays a big role as it shows others that you are approachable, friendly, and trustworthy. Clear aligners will give you the confidence you need to keep smiling on the job.
2. They Are Convenient
With clear aligners, you can remove them and put them in a case while eating, which allows you to eat anything you want — unlike traditional braces that limit your menu options to foods that are not hard, chewy or brittle.
3. You Will Be Less Prone To Chronic Conditions And Injuries
Misaligned teeth can have a negative impact on your oral and overall health. Skewed teeth can grind over each other, resulting in enamel damage. And teeth that protrude can harm the inside of your mouth, causing discomfort. Speech problems and headaches may even develop as a result of misaligned teeth. Through the help of aligners like Invisalign®, you can fix your current dental issues and protect your mouth from future problems.
4. Maintaining Proper Dental Hygiene Is Easier
Besides taking out the aligners when you want to eat, there is another benefit associated with removable clear aligners: you can clean your gums, teeth, and other dental parts thoroughly. Removable aligners can be cleaned separately, and you will not have to try and maneuver your toothbrush around delicate wires and brackets.
5. You Avoid Common Pitfalls Of Metal Braces
Metal braces carry an assortment of side effects not seen with clear aligners. Some of the issues faced by traditional metal brace-wearers include:
A common issue endured by many who wear metal braces is abrasion-type injuries to the inside of the mouth caused by broken brackets and wires poking loose. With no brackets or wires to worry about, clear aligners avoid this issue altogether.
It’s no secret that trying to effectively floss teeth that are braced with metal brackets and wires is a challenge – sometimes resulting in frustrated young patients giving up flossing altogether while their braces are on (which leads to a whole host of other tooth decay-related problems).
Clear aligners on the other hand, are removed for brushing and flossing, eliminating this problem – so flossing can continue unhindered.
Risk Of Discolouration
White spot lesions are sporadic side effects that can occur after wearing metal braces for a long time – the brackets can discolour, creating an undesirable mismatch on the teeth. Fixing this problem can be challenging, as discolouration such as this does not respond well to most whitening treatment methods. (However, you can help prevent this issue with traditional braces by brushing and flossing regularly in between the brackets as your dentist has shown you, avoiding sugary foods, and eating a clean, healthy diet.)
Compared to metal braces, clear smile alignment treatment carries no risk of this type of problem developing, as there are no brackets attached to your teeth to cause discolouration.
6. You Will Know What To Expect
With Invisalign®, patients go through a fully computerized treatment schedule. Hence, it’s easy to know what to expect and the treatment duration they will need to undergo for their complete smile makeover. With metal braces, the treatment schedule isn’t quite so firm, and the end result may be a little more difficult to predict.
7. Treatment Time May Be Reduced
When it comes to duration, clear aligners may reduce treatment time by up to half compared to alignment using metal braces. Generally, it only takes up to twelve months for clear aligners to treat your alignment problem, while it can take more than two years if you are using traditional metal braces.
Only your dentist can advise you properly and provide a treatment time estimate based on your individual alignment issues.
However… Clear Aligners Are Not Without Their Challenges
As appealing as clear aligner treatment is, there are some drawbacks to consider.
First, not everyone is a good candidate for clear aligners – if you have teeth that need to be gradually guided downward or upward to be more aligned with the rest of your mouth, for example, clear aligners cannot accomplish this and traditional braces would be your best option.
Also, clear aligners depend completely on patient cooperation. Because they can be easily removed, it’s tempting to take them out more often than you should. Ideally, to have successful alignment on pace with the treatment schedule designed for you, your clear aligners must be left in the mouth at least 22 hours out of every day for the duration of treatment. The good news is you can easily stay in control of your progress by simply leaving them in, other than for eating or brushing. But if the temptation to keep taking them out is too strong, perhaps traditional metal braces are better for you, as they cannot be removed at will.
At Bradford Orthodontics we offer clear aligner treatment as well as traditional metal braces. And if you are a candidate for our Fastbraces option, your metal brace treatment time can be cut almost in half! Schedule your appointment today and let us help improve your smile!