Wondering how important your relationship with your orthodontist is? It is very important. Building a strong relationship with your dental professional is an ideal way for you to make sure that you are getting the necessary dental treatments. When you feel confident in the relationship that you have with your orthodontist, you are more likely…
Clear Aligners vs. Traditional Braces
Not every mouth or situation is the same, but fortunately patients can choose between clear aligners and traditional braces. Some people are blessed with naturally straight smiles and the confidence that engenders. Others must get professional help to achieve a straight and beautiful smile, and both treatment choices can be effective in accomplishing that goal.
Things both treatments have in common
Although there are several differences in the treatment and comfort of clear aligners versus metal braces, there are a few things that are similar. Becoming informed about both can be helpful when it comes to making a decision:
- Patients must keep teeth clean with both types so that cavities do not occur, and may find a jetted water flosser to be helpful.
- Both traditional braces and clear aligners require the involvement of an orthodontist to monitor progress and watch for complications or tooth decay, involving multiple sessions.
- Using either type of dental correction will require that certain foods, such as nuts, sticky candies and chewing gum, be strictly avoided while wearing the appliance to prevent damage to it.
Pros and cons of braces
Traditional braces can have a shorter wear time as they stay on the teeth 24 hours a day for the duration of the treatment. The metal brackets can be adjusted right away by the orthodontist if something unexpected comes up. Wearing some form of retainer may be required either full time or overnight following treatment with metal braces.
If a patient has complicated alignment issues, metal braces are generally more effective for correcting severe problems. Braces may be better for use in children, because the mouth and jaw continue to grow during the treatment period.
Pros and cons of clear aligners
One of the biggest advantages is the fact that aligners are barely noticeable and a person can wear them without feeling as self-conscious as may occur with traditional braces. Although the trays should be worn almost all the time for the desired results, it is easy to brush and floss thoroughly and to get dental care because the aligners can be removed during that time. The trays must be cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis to prevent bacterial growth or odor.
Clear aligners can be more comfortable since there are no wires or bulky bands to deal bother a patient’s cheeks or tongue. They may also be safer for people regularly participating in sports or adventurous activities.
Because they are so comfortable, a patient may forget to remove the trays while eating and could damage them. As well, food debris can become lodged in the trays and look unsightly until cleaned, as well as cause gum irritation.
Since both the clear aligner and traditional braces can be effective for straightening teeth and produce a more attractive and functional smile, there is no universal right or wrong choice. A potential patient will do well to evaluate their needs and lifestyle to decide which is ultimately going to work better for their situation.
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