Many people who are unhappy with their smile ask their orthodontic care provider for help with teeth straightening. Whether you're dealing with an overbite, an underbite or some other type of alignment issues, your orthodontist can create a customised solution for you. Two of the most popular teeth straightening solutions available today are traditional braces and clear aligner devices. Whilst they have the same ultimate goal—a straighter smile for you—each option is best suited for specific patients. Below, you'll find the advantages of both traditional braces and clear aligner devices to help you determine which might be best for you.
The Advantages of Traditional Braces
Traditional braces have been used for decades in patients who need to straighten their smile. The primary advantage of traditional braces is that they're capable of creating great change. Braces can correct even serious cases of misalignment like a pronounced overbite or a severe underbite.
Another advantage of braces is that they're effective for patients of nearly any age. In fact, orthodontic treatment can be quite successful when it begins early, before the bones fully harden. The Australian Society of Orthodontists says that children who have misalignment or other teeth issues can benefit from orthodontic visits starting at age 7-10. If you've never had your teeth straightened but want to do so as an adult, braces are still a good choice in many cases. It's more challenging to straighten an adult's teeth, so it's helpful to use the most powerful tool available—traditional braces.
Traditional braces do require regular adjustments at your orthodontist's office, but those visits are usually quite short and easy. Because you'll never alter or remove the braces yourself, they're on your teeth around the clock. You don't run the risk of forgetting to straighten your teeth—a potential problem with removable aligner devices.
The Advantages of Clear Aligner Devices
Clear aligner devices are customised based upon molds of your mouth. These devices are made from a hard—but still flexible—plastic that fits securely over your teeth. The most obvious advantage of clear aligner devices is that they're not nearly as visible as metal braces. In fact, many people might not even notice that you're wearing a device on your teeth. This can make clear aligners a good option for teens and adults who are self-conscious about wearing metal braces.
This type of teeth straightening is available for pre-adolescents through adults, although metal braces can often be used even earlier in life than aligners are. Whilst clear aligners are used for teeth straightening in cases of mild to moderate misalignment, they're not intended for the more severe cases of misalignment. In those cases, metal braces tend to be the preferred (and more effective) option.
One of the things that many people enjoy about clear aligners is that they're removable—you can take them out to eat and to brush your teeth. However, this can make it easy to lose the aligners or to forget to wear them as often as you should. If you're a responsible teen or adult who has firmly resolved to wear the aligners as directed, they'll likely work well for you. However, young children or forgetful adults might do better with traditional braces.
Still not certain whether braces or aligners might be best for you? Speak with your local orthodontist to learn more about the unique advantages of each. Your smile can straighten out sooner than you might think!