One of the first things people notice about you is your smile – and it’s a wonderful feeling to greet the world with full confidence about your teeth. But not everyone is born with straight teeth, and many people have a sense of shame about teeth that are crowded or crooked. Luckily, at Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL, we know that orthodontic treatments like traditional braces and Invisalign are ideal options for achieving a perfect smile.
Should You Get Invisalign or Traditional Braces?
Ultimately, the choice between traditional braces and Invisalign comes down to your preferences. Both treatments can straighten your teeth effectively and produce lifelong results when you wear your retainer correctly. Each of these orthodontic treatments has pros and cons to consider. Some of the most important factors that will help you decide which treatment is right for you include:
Funding your orthodontic treatment is sometimes one of the most important factors. In general, Invisalign is a slightly more affordable option than traditional braces for most people. Considering how often the gear for braces needs to be changed and monitored, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, then invisible aligners may be a better choice for your financial situation.
The condition of your teeth is also a huge determining factor. In general, invisible aligners can handle most mild to moderate crowding, crookedness, gaps, and even some overbites. Invisible aligners use a strong plastic that can help correct many common dental concerns. But if your teeth have more drastic issues, such as pronounced crossbite, then you will probably require traditional braces.
Braces are more appropriate for moderate to severe misalignment since pronounced dental concerns often require additional steps before teeth can be straightened. For example, people who have drastic crossbites or severe crookedness may need to have the top jaw widened before teeth can be aligned correctly. If your orthodontist determines that your concerns are too advanced for invisible aligners, you will likely be recommended braces.
In general, you can straighten your teeth much more quickly with invisible aligners than you can with braces. If you have mild concerns that you want to correct in about six months, then clear aligners are the best option for your treatment. Because clear aligners can correct alignment concerns faster than braces, many patients opt for aligners if they can.
The treatment process for invisible aligners is simple for adults but may not be manageable for younger teens. To get the most out of your invisible aligner treatment, the aligners must be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours a day and must be changed to new aligners every two or so weeks. Younger teens may not be able to keep up with the cleaning and care of invisible aligners, which can ultimately slow down their treatment.
For younger people, it may be a better idea to use braces. Braces have a few more limitations in food choice, but because braces are not taken out several times a day, it can be easier for younger teens to keep up with the care of braces.
With any orthodontic treatment, certain restrictions are put into place for what you can eat and drink. For braces, you are not allowed to have gum, popcorn, or even red-tinted food that may cause staining around the bracket glue. For invisible aligners, you can eat anything you want as long as you take the aligners out first, but you can only drink water with the aligners on your teeth.
Different people are more comfortable with the restrictions for either treatment. If you think you may have trouble remembering to take out aligners before you eat or drink any liquid that isn’t clear water, then you may want to opt for braces. On the other hand, if you really can’t give up popcorn, then clear aligners might be a better choice.
Any orthodontic treatment will require special cleaning steps to keep the gear fully functional and safe for your dental hygiene. Braces must be cleaned carefully at least two times a day to prevent plaque build-up around the brackets. Similarly, you will need to brush your teeth after each meal and non-water beverages to prevent plaque on the teeth that may cause cavities when the aligners are worn. You will also want to rinse or clean your aligners once a day.
For active people, you may want to consider the impact of your sports when it comes to choosing which orthodontic treatment is right for you. Braces may cut the lips or the inside of the cheeks during high-impact play. If you don’t play sports, then this isn’t a consideration you will need to make.
People who grind their teeth at night may benefit from clear aligners instead of braces. Because clear aligners are also worn at night, they act as a natural mouthguard for your teeth so you don’t grind when you sleep.
It may not be an obvious consideration, but you may want to think about what your braces or aligners will feel like in your mouth. While braces are comfortable, they can still be felt on the teeth and the inside of the lips, which may be difficult for some people to get used to. Clear aligners, on the other hand, have a slick texture that feels good in the mouth.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
So, which treatment is right for you? If you can’t decide which orthodontic treatment is most suited to your needs, an orthodontic expert can give you a better idea of which treatment is most appropriate for your needs. After examining your teeth, your orthodontist will make a recommendation for which type of teeth straightening treatment is best for your needs, your age, and your preferences.
Why Should You Straighten Your Teeth?
Straightening your teeth has the immediate benefit of improving your confidence in your smile, as well as several other benefits. For example, crooked and crowded teeth can be difficult to clean, which can lead to cavities between the teeth, gingivitis, and tartar build-up. Crowded teeth can even cause headaches or issues in the alignment of other teeth over the course of several years. Some other reasons you may want to consider orthodontic care include:
An uneven bite can cause several problems, such as difficulty chewing or speaking. An uneven bite wears on your teeth and increases the risk of tooth decay from enamel breakdown. An uneven bite, such as an overbite, can even be a cosmetic flaw since your upper teeth are more prominent than your lower teeth.
Teeth crowding is generally caused by a narrow jaw. When adult teeth grow into a narrow jaw, there is no room for each tooth to have its own space, so teeth can turn or crowd together. This can cause problems such as difficulty chewing, gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss.
Straighter teeth are healthier teeth. Not only will it be easier for you to prevent cavities and gum disease because you will be able to clean between teeth when teeth or straight, but you will also be able to have healthy teeth for a lifetime. Straightening your teeth can help you keep bacteria away from your gums because you will be able to reach the full tooth during brushing and flossing.
Who Are Good Candidates?
Candidates for Invisalign and traditional braces usually have some degree of overlap. Both orthodontic treatments can correct crowding, overbites, crossbites, and crookedness. However, the only way to determine if you are a good candidate for either treatment is to attend a consultation with an orthodontist.
Part of your consultation will include a thorough examination of your teeth, including an x-ray. Examining your teeth will tell your orthodontist the degree of correction necessary to straighten your teeth. From there, a recommendation will be made for the best treatment for your specific needs.
Be More Confident About Your Smile
Orthodontic treatments like Invisalign and traditional braces can be incredibly beneficial to your confidence and your dental health. If you want to have a healthier, straighter smile, then you will need to attend a consultation to determine which treatment is most appropriate for your dental concerns. Contact Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach, FL to schedule your initial appointment today. A brighter, beautiful smile is easy with the right orthodontic care.