Each year, more than four million people in the U.S. wear braces, and one in four is an adult. So you can see that it's not uncommon for adults to use orthodontics because everyone wants a brilliant smile, no matter their age. But when your teeth are crooked or out of alignment, you may feel less than confident showing off your smile. Dental braces can be a solution.
Currently, you have a few options for orthodontic care, but the two primary ones are traditional bracket and wire braces and clear aligner trays like Invisalign. Both options are designed to move your teeth into new positions, but how they work is quite different.
What Are the Benefits of Orthodontics in Orlando, FL?
Most people believe that the reason for straightening your teeth is all about looks. But while it's true that aligned teeth are more attractive, you also gain many oral health benefits from orthodontics.
First, straighter teeth make your home-care routine easier and more effective. This is because crooked teeth create pockets that are harder to reach. As a result, plaque can build up over time on these parts and lead to infection and cavities in tricky to fill areas. But with your teeth all lined up evenly, your toothbrush can reach all surfaces and eliminate plaque before it becomes a problem.
Another health benefit to straighter teeth is a correctly aligned bite. When you're chewing, and your teeth line up perfectly, the pressure on your jawbone and joints is balanced. Conversely, if your teeth positions impact your bite, you can suffer numerous long-term issues such as uneven teeth wearing, stress, and even tooth fracture.
The Two Main Types of Dental Braces
Even with minor misalignments in your smile, you might decide orthodontic care is right for you, which leaves the choice of which therapy to choose. Traditional braces are a fixed option where you have metal brackets adhered to each tooth linked by wires which exert pressure on your teeth in a specific direction. The other option is clear aligners which come in a series that you change every two weeks. They are removable, but only for eating, brushing, and flossing. Otherwise, you wear them nearly all day and during the night.
To help you choose, we will compare conventional and clear aligners in four areas:
Appearance: What You Can and Can't See
How they look is one area where conventional and clear aligner braces differ significantly. Most of us can visualize the bracket and wire design along with the many colorful monikers they've inspired over the years. Clear aligners are, as the name implies, transparent. They are designed to be worn without other people even noticing that they're there.
Comfort Is a Primary Consideration
Comfort is not something we usually associate with traditional braces. Instead, the metal construction creates sharp edges and corners that frequently dig into the wearer's lips and gums. As a result, many people with conventional orthodontic work in their past have the tell-tale railroad track scar on the inside of their lips.
Clear aligners, in contrast, are made from a soft but rigid type of acrylic plastic. This material helps prevent any lip or gum damage. In addition, though aligners exert the same force on your teeth to move them as conventional braces, that force is distributed differently. Finally, because your dentist has expertise in measuring your mouth, you can feel assured that each aligner tray will fit exactly as intended.
Routine Oral Care Is Also Important
With either traditional braces or clear aligners, you will continue to brush and floss your teeth and keep with regular dental visits. The difference in this area is that you'll remove your aligners to eat and brush without encumbrance. You will also need to soak your tray to keep it clean as well. But because you change your aligner every two weeks, even rudimentary care will be sufficient to maintain your trays.
Brushing and flossing with traditional braces is reasonable, provided you're careful around the wires. Because you don't remove your braces when eating, you're likely to get food stuck in them that you'll take extra measures to remove. If you neglect debris in your braces, you could have problems like bad breath and accelerated tooth decay.
Cost of Orthodontic Care
The final area to compare traditional braces to Invisalign is cost. This is one part of the treatment that can vary immensely from patient to patient. Generally, traditional braces come in just slightly under clear aligners in many cases.
However, we can't stress enough that every treatment plan is different, and if you have dental insurance, some portion may be covered. This is another benefit of working with your dentist and a proven product such as Invisalign to straighten your smile. Your dentist's experience and expertise can help ensure your treatment gives you the hoped-for results.
Invisalign Treatment in Orlando, FL
If you're considering orthodontics as an adult, you have several great options. To get started, contact us to set up a consultation. The smile of your dreams is just a call away.