A Dental Dilemma: Clear Aligners vs. Braces
The confidence that comes from a beautiful, healthy smile is second to none. For many of us, it takes a little work to get there, whether with Clear Aligners vs. braces. Whichever you choose, the investment and time will be well worth it because, after all, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.”
Let’s put your best one forward by considering the decision between Clear Aligners vs. braces.
Are Braces Best for Me?
The traditional option for teeth alignment, braces, are an ideal choice for anyone with significant alignment issues. For example, your smile might be suffering from an overly rotated tooth, overbite/underbite, or even issues with your jaw.
Braces are metal brackets glued to the fronts of teeth and connected by a metal wire. Every six weeks, the braces are tightened, meaning a new wire that is shorter than the last is positioned on the brackets. This process can cause some patients a bit of discomfort for the following day or two as the teeth and gums begin to recover.
Another factor to consider when it comes to braces is the additional maintenance required beyond the dentist’s office. This includes special brushing techniques and a commitment to avoid certain foods that could compromise your braces — think sticky, chewy or gummy foods, like certain candies and gum.
How to Brush with Braces
It is important to brush above and below the brackets of your braces and not just on the top of them. This is because food can hide in the spaces blocked by the metal wire. To help keep your teeth as clean as possible, you should always try to at least rinse your mouth after eating if brushing isn’t possible.
Food Banned by Braces
Popcorn, gum, corn on the cob, apples, caramel… basically, avoid the carnival if you have braces. Or at least bring your own snacks! Foods that are sticky, chewy, crunchy, or that require a hard bite should be avoided. This is because these foods can bend the wires on your braces, potentially even breaking a bracket, causing discomfort and an additional trip back to the dentist.
Interested in Clear Aligners?
Clear Aligners can be an ideal route to correct your teeth, provided your dentist confirms that you are a good candidate. Clear Aligners are not necessarily right for everyone, depending on other existing dental issues, like overcrowding. Clear Aligners are constructed and worn similar to a traditional retainer; two trays work to straighten the teeth gradually. The trays are clear — nearly invisible, secretly working in the background as you go about your day.
Clear Aligners Cleaning
Clear Aligners are replaced weekly or biweekly depending on your oral plan. However, despite the greater frequency, these appointments are not as involved — or potentially painful — as getting your braces tightened. These appointments are scheduled simply so you can get your next set of trays, which will have changed based on the progress of straightening your teeth.
The trays should be worn for 22 hours a day and only taken out while eating and for brushing at night. Because Clear Aligners can be removed, there are no food restrictions, unlike braces. However, similar to braces, it is important to rinse your mouth out after meals or snacks so that food does not get trapped within the Clear Aligners tray.
Cleaning your Clear Aligners trays involves using a soft bristle brush in a circular motion on the inside and outside of each tray. With this technique, all food residue and lingering bacteria will be cleared away. Once cleaned, pop them back in to ensure they work consistently to better align your teeth.
Whether through traditional braces or Clear Aligners, you invested time and money into your new and improved smile. You’re going to want to preserve it. Whichever route you chose, both braces and Clear Aligners patients will receive a retainer at the end of their journey to help preserve their new, straightened smiles. Patients will only need to wear their retainers at night once their teeth have become comfortable in their new positions.
At Crown Dental, we offer Clear Aligners and welcome you to come in for a consultation to see if this option is right for you. Contact us today!