Clear Aligners vs. Braces For Aligning Teeth
Over 4 million children and adults in the United States have braces to straighten teeth. Having straight teeth isn’t just about appearance but may give your child the ability to speak and eat better, and offer more comfort. When you’re thinking about getting your child braces, you might have many questions about braces and clear aligners.
If you’re considering seeing your orthodontist to talk about braces, read on for what you need to know about braces and aligners.
Clear Aligners vs. Braces
Dental technology continues to evolve to offer us the most fitting solutions to dental hurdles. Let’s look more closely at braces and clear aligners, noting some differences between the two.
Traditional braces consist of metal brackets and wiring. The brackets are bonded temporarily to your teeth to encourage them to shift to a more desirable position. The wires connect them all together.
Metal braces are worn according to the length of time treatment is needed. If you have metal braces, you will return to the orthodontist every 4 to 6 weeks for a check-up, and so the orthodontist can make changes if needed.
Clear aligners are plastic aligners that are transparent and fit right over your teeth. They apply gentle pressure to your teeth to straighten them out throughout your treatment. Nothing is bonded to your teeth.
These aligners are suitable for both adults and children, mainly teenagers. Clear aligners are just as efficient as traditional metal braces.
Benefits of Clear Aligners
The length of treatment will vary on a case-by-case basis. Some patients will need a longer length of treatment than others due to personal factors. However, for some, if their case is mild enough, the duration of wearing clear aligners will be shorter than that of traditional braces.
Generally speaking, the duration of traditional braces is 18 to 36 months, and aligners are 6 to 18 months. But many factors will come into play when determining the exact timing.
Another perk of having clear aligners is that they are almost invisible. When the aligners are fitted over your teeth, they are barely visible to others because they are made of clear plastic.
This is attractive to teenagers and even professional adults who choose to get clear plastic aligners. Teenagers can be self-conscious, and braces don’t always contribute to their self-esteem. Adults who elect to have orthodontic work can benefit from clear aligners, especially working professionals who need to or wish to maintain a specific appearance.
Clear aligners must be worn for a specific duration to complete the treatment on time. However, you can remove them for eating and drinking. Because of this, you can stick to your diet but still cut back on sugar and sweets since they’re not healthy for your teeth.
Removing the aligners also allows you to have better oral health. With the aligners removed, you can brush and floss normally, ensuring that all the food particles are out of your teeth. The remaining food or residue on your teeth contributes to tartar build-up and tooth decay, which you don’t want during your treatment.
As previously mentioned, clear aligners can be just as effective as metal braces, but with some caveats.
One of the methods for success is remembering to put your aligners back in your mouth after removing them, and caring for them to keep them in great shape.
Your child will need to wear their aligners for a total of 22 hours during a 24-hour period. Forgetting to insert their aligners after eating or drinking will increase treatment time. If you find that your child is not as responsible with the aligners as you may prefer, perhaps clear aligners are not the best choice.
Cleaning and caring for your aligners is also essential. Your orthodontist will show you the best way to care for them so you won’t have to replace them until needed. Continuing caring for your aligners is just as critical to your treatment.
When you go in for a check-up, whether you have clear aligners or traditional braces, the orthodontist will make changes to move your treatment along, such as giving you a new set of aligners or tweaking your brackets and wiring. With aligners, there should be very little to no discomfort. A bit of gentle pressure is standard but should fade over time until your next appointment.
Is Everyone a Candidate for Clear Aligners?
While clear aligners are a great choice, not everyone is a candidate for aligners.
Teenagers are typically good candidates for clear aligners as long as their jaws have stopped growing. Adults wishing to straighten their teeth are good candidates as well. Commitment to your care is also important because your responsibility will determine the length and outcome of your treatment.
Some factors determine whether or not an individual is a good candidate, such as severe dental issues, overbites, and severely misaligned teeth. However, other orthodontic treatments are available for these issues, and only your orthodontist can determine which one is appropriate for you.
Clear Aligners or Braces: Which Is Right for You?
The choice of orthodontic treatment to pursue your child is a personal one, but you also need a dentist’s input. Ultimately, your dentist will help you choose what is best for your child, whether clear aligners or traditional braces.
Are you looking for a dentist in Omaha, NE? Our team of dentists is eager to answer any questions you may have.