Have you been trying to choose between traditional braces and a clear aligner option like Invisalign? At Brodie Bowman Orthodontics at Fort Walton Beach and Niceville, FL, we offer both options and would be happy to give you personalized advice when you come to visit us. For now, we’ll go over some common questions you may have about these treatments.
Does Invisalign Work More Quickly Than Traditional Braces?
Adults tend to be particularly concerned about their treatment timeline, especially when it comes to wearing traditional braces. Patients who opt for Invisalign and only need mild adjustments could finish their treatment in as little as six months. Other patients with more involved needs may need around 15 months to get the results they want with Invisalign.
When it comes to traditional braces, the treatment time can also vary depending on your needs. The minimum time most people spend with their braces is just under a year, while others may need up to three years to finish their treatment. A consultation is ultimately the best way to know which option is the best choice for you.
Invisalign involves a set of aligners that you will go through as you progress through your treatment. You will wear each pair for about two weeks. Each set will gently shift your teeth closer to your end goal. As with the timeline, how many sets are involved in your treatment will depend on how involved your corrections are.
Every four to eight weeks, we recommend that patients with aligners visit us so we can evaluate their progress. We’ll make sure your treatment schedule is on track and make any necessary adjustments during this time. This will give you an opportunity to let us know how things are going and ask any questions you have as well.
As with braces, clear aligners can treat a range of issues and can be customized for your needs. Most patients treat their top and bottom teeth at the same time, but some patients prefer to go for a single arch treatment, where just the top or bottom teeth are treated. This flexibility allows our patients to pick an option that reflects their dental goals.
When it comes to encouraging quick results, the most important thing to remember is to wear your aligners consistently. These comfortable, custom-made aligners are designed to be worn all the time, except for when you eat your meals or clean your teeth.
That means you should make sure you’re wearing them for 20 to 22 hours each day to keep yourself on track. Braces and aligners both rely on consistency to do their best work.
What Should I Do After Getting Aligners?
Keep Them Safe
Misplacing aligners can be stressful and frustrating. If you misplace them for long enough, you can even set your treatment schedule back. To avoid this, we recommend picking a specific, consistent place you can keep your aligners. That way you won’t have to panic and run around looking for them.
Choosing an area you regularly pass can also help you remember to put them back in after you’ve eaten or brushed your teeth.
Have an Extra Case
Keeping an extra aligner case in your gym bag or purse can help you be ready at a moment’s notice. That way if you’re out and realize you want to grab a meal, you’ll have a safe place to put your aligners.
Your teeth can transfer plaque and bacteria onto your aligners. If you clean your teeth and put your aligners back in without making sure they’re clean too, you could risk undoing some of the brushing you just did. Part of keeping your smile healthy and your aligners nice and clear is to make sure you consistently clean your aligners.
What Can I Have Treated?
Visiting us for a dental evaluation will help give us the data we need to recommend the right treatment. With that said, this versatile treatment can handle a lot of different dental issues. The following are common concerns that aligners excel at treating:
When teeth aren’t lined up properly, it can cause the jaw to be off balance. This can lead to the muscles around your jaw growing strained and sore. Symptoms of a misaligned jaw can include jaw pain, neck pain, and headaches for that reason.
In addition, misaligned teeth often wear down unevenly. This can cause the misalignment to worsen over time and can speed up the corrosion of your protective enamel. Correcting this issue can help keep your teeth healthy for as long as possible.
Underbites or Overbites
These common concerns are caused by an alignment issue. As your teeth are adjusted, it can help set your jaws into a more correct position to reduce your overbite or underbite. The entire mouth and all of its various parts are interconnected and interdependent, so fixing one issue is often extremely helpful in correcting another one.
Tooth gaps are not always a concern. As long as they’re not interfering with your ability to eat, speak, and clean your teeth, you shouldn’t have to worry about them. That said, some patients would prefer not to have tooth gaps for aesthetic reasons. Others do find that the gaps in their teeth are causing issues when it comes to getting food stuck between their teeth or pronouncing certain words.
Regardless of your reasoning, we would be happy to help you reduce the gaps in your teeth if that’s what you’d like. This treatment can help pull teeth closer together or be used to space them out according to the patient’s needs.
What Benefits Can I Expect With Clear Aligners?
Keep Your Diet
If you get traditional braces, you do have to keep in mind that some foods will have to be avoided until your treatment is complete. This isn’t the case with clear aligners. The aligners we offer are designed to be popped in and out with ease, so you can take them out and eat whatever you want.
For patients with food allergies or limitations, this can be a game-changer. You can now fix your smile without worrying about restricting even more food from your diet.
Invisalign’s name stands for “invisible aligner,” and it’s easy to see why. These completely clear aligners allow your natural teeth to show, which is what the people you’re talking to will be able to see. Unless someone comes up to you with a magnifying glass, they should have no idea that you’ve started correcting your smile.
Whether you want to avoid feeling self-conscious about braces or just don’t want them showing up in pictures, aligners can be a great way to get corrective results without any metal covering your smile. Patients who have a wedding or similar big event coming up may also find this a good option, so they don’t have to delay their treatment.
If you have a sensitive mouth, you may have an easier time adjusting to aligners, which are smooth and custom-made for your teeth. That way you won’t have to worry about the brackets and wires that come along with traditional braces.
That said, if your condition does require braces, that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to discomfort. During a consultation, let us know if you think the adjustment may be difficult. We can discuss our various options and can recommend a comfortable bracket option.
Strong and Safe
If you or your child enjoys an active lifestyle or plays sports, aligners could be a good choice. While it’s always a good idea to protect your teeth, it can offer some peace of mind to know that these aligners are built to last. There are also no brackets, wires, or sharp corners. This can help decrease the risk of a mouth injury.
Since aligners can be removed, you’ll be able to brush and floss your teeth as usual rather than having to work around braces.
There are also health reasons to consider straightening teeth. Misaligned or overcrowded teeth often create tight or overlapping areas that are very difficult or impossible to thoroughly clean. Both daily and professional cleaning tends to be more effective when teeth are properly aligned. This can help prevent issues like cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.
More Questions? No Problem
We offer a range of treatments and would be happy to answer your questions. Contact us at Brodie Bowman Orthodontics at Fort Walton Beach and Niceville, FL, to set up your consultation today!