If you are planning to get your teeth straightened, it’s perfectly normal that you would want to know about the best options available before visiting your dental specialist or orthodontist.

Teeth straightening is a time-consuming process and will require you to wear braces for an extended period. However, the treatment effectively gives you a set of perfectly aligned teeth, good oral health, and the ‘million-dollar smile.

Braces vs aligners – which will suit you better?

Braces

Braces

Aligners

Aligners the invisible alternative to orthodontic braces

Your orthodontist will most likely prescribe braces if you have teeth that appear crooked or protruded, difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, or stress in the jawline after chewing food.

But, not everyone will agree with the idea of wearing conventional metal braces, especially if you are a college student or working a full-time job. Apart from being a bit uncomfortable to wear, the thought of people seeing braces on your teeth can make you feel self-conscious about wearing them.

Now, patients are exploring other alternatives such as clear or invisible aligners for teeth straightening as they provide certain benefits over traditional braces. Your dental specialist will be able to determine whether your teeth can be corrected using this method.

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What are the alternatives to metal braces for adults?

If the idea of sporting metal braces in your mouth does not appeal to you, there are other discreet alternatives you can choose.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic / tooth-coloured braces can do an excellent job concealing the brackets and the archwires connecting them as they are either clear or tooth-coloured. Otherwise, they work exactly like the traditional braces in straightening the teeth.

Lingual braces

Another alternative to traditional braces, lingual braces, is placed on the teeth’ backside, where they remain virtually out of sight. They are designed to straighten the teeth using brackets and wires like conventional braces.

Patients who have small teeth or a deep bite are not suitable candidates for lingual brace placement. The downside is they are challenging to clean due to their location behind the teeth, take much longer to work, and are expensive.

Teeth aligners

Teeth aligners (also known as clear aligners or invisible aligners) are transparent coverings on the teeth which are nearly invisible. They are made of high-quality biocompatible plastic and are custom-made to fit the teeth. Each aligner is trimmed to the gumline for optimal comfort and appearance.

Teeth aligners are commonly used to treat misaligned teeth, overcrowding, overbites, crossbites, buck teeth, and spacing between the teeth. These are the best available alternative to using braces for teeth correction in most cases. But also be aware that all types of teeth corrections are not possible with this alternative and your orthodontist is the best person to guide you as to which treatment alternative best suits your dentition.

Why teeth aligners can be a good alternative to traditional braces?

Teeth aligners can be a good option if you are not comfortable wearing metal braces on your teeth. Here are some reasons why they score over traditional fixed braces:

  • Since teeth aligners are clear and almost invisible, you can wear them without being noticeable.
  • They are comfortable to wear, and you can easily remove and clean them yourself.
  • The fact that you can remove them makes it easy for you to eat your favorite foods, brush and floss your teeth, and maintain good oral hygiene.
  • There is no marked discomfort, oral abrasions, flossing challenges.
  • The number of visits to your orthodontist is minimal, compared traditional braces.
  • Invisible aligners can straighten your teeth faster when compared to traditional braces.

What to expect when getting teeth aligners?

Your orthodontist will formulate a proper treatment plan based on inputs from photographs, X-rays, etc. and advise you about teeth aligners. Treatment with teeth aligners range anywhere between six months to a year and a half based on the complexity of your problems.

Your orthodontist will guide you about teeth aligners, as each case is different and cannot be treated in the same manner. Also, in some cases, your orthodontist will have to fix a few attachments to the teeth aligners, for which they are specially trained.

The important thing is you must be very disciplined in wearing them for a minimum of 22 hours every day. Since aligners need to be removed every time before cleaning the teeth and eating food, patients tend to forget to put them back, causing a delay in the orthodontic treatment process.

Why you should avoid DIY aligners

In recent days, the popularity of teeth aligners has encouraged some companies to market this treatment method as a do-it-yourself product. These DIY aligner companies promise to deliver custom-built aligners to patients at cheaper rates without even needing to consult an orthodontist.

People must understand the pitfalls in opting for do-it-yourself aligners and the damage that can result from avoiding the expertise and supervision of a trained orthodontist. The use of these aligners without proper clinical evaluation can compromise the life of your teeth and permanently affect your smile. Problems of using DIY aligners include getting your teeth even more crooked than before, inability to open or close the mouth, and difficulty in chewing food properly. Also, be aware that some instances are best treated with traditional/ceramic braces rather than clear aligners as individual tooth movement, and root movement control are better achieved than conventional alternatives.

Therefore, if you have decided to go forward with teeth aligners, remember to consult your orthodontist for proper guidance and diagnosis to achieve a rewarding and refreshing result.

Dental Clinic Vyttila, Ernakulam

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Providing the highest quality of dental care for Ernakulam families since 2006

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