Today, more and more adults are looking for ways to straighten their teeth. And thanks to new technologies, they now have a variety of alternatives for straightening their teeth, from classic metal braces to virtually invisible straightening teeth aligners. The style they choose depends on the kind of issues they need to address.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, but your orthodontist can help you decide the right one for you. In this blog, we will discuss some of these alternatives, as we look at the benefits and drawbacks of each to help you make an informed decision.
Why a Straighter Smile Is Becoming More Popular Among Adults
As more people become interested in their health and overall well-being, a greater number of individuals are placing a greater emphasis on the state of their oral health. Adults who have waited years for straighter and healthier teeth now have more reason than ever thanks to alternatives for clear aligners like Invisalign. For other adults, braces could have been something they wanted or needed as children but couldn't afford.
With so many alternatives for braces as well as teeth straighteners presently accessible, an increasing number of adults are choosing orthodontics. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in four orthodontic patients are adults above 18.
Better Appearance and Improved Self-Esteem
Naturally, most people would like to look better by enhancing their smile. Straightening your teeth to create a beautiful new smile can radically alter your physical appearance.
Feeling good about the way we look can have a major impact on our confidence as well as how we portray ourselves in social situations. Having a beautiful, vibrant smile can boost your self-esteem in both personal and professional scenarios.
Physical Health Benefits
Straightening one's teeth can improve their appearance as well as their overall health. If your teeth are too far apart from one another, your gums are more likely to become irritated and red. On the other hand, if the teeth are crowded or crooked, it could be challenging to keep them clean, which could result in the buildup of plaque and dental decay.
As a result, having your teeth aligned is a great way of enhancing your dental health and lowering your risk of health problems.
Teeth Shift With Time
Even though many preteens and teens are thought to benefit from orthodontic treatment, there are numerous instances in which an adult would benefit from having their teeth realigned as well. Teeth tend to shift into different positions as we age, making it more challenging to properly clean between and around them. This is true especially when the teeth are crowded and overlapped.
Some people who used braces as kids may notice that the teeth have moved for various reasons. Regardless of the reason, this could result in the gradual accumulation of plaque, which can eventually develop into cavities and gum disease.
Find a Solution for Your Jaw Problems
Braces can also help with jaw issues. When your teeth don't close together properly — for example, when there is a severe underbite or overbite — this causes what is known as a "bad bite" (or a malocclusion), which could make chewing and swallowing difficult.
Naturally, many individuals can seek out aligners to straighten their teeth for aesthetic purposes. Your smile contributes significantly to your level of self-confidence. In many cases, patients only need to use a teeth straightener to fix all of these problems.
Adult Tooth Straightening Options
Adults today have a wide range of options for straightening their teeth. Below are a few of the possible alternatives:
Many orthodontic problems can be resolved with conventional metal braces, which are occasionally covered by insurance. Conventional braces utilize metal brackets, elastic bands, and wire to shift teeth into the correct position.
Even though metal braces have a bad rep among certain people, they have evolved over the past decade and are nevertheless a viable alternative for correcting misalignment of the teeth.
Below are the advantages of traditional braces:
- Control—Traditional braces provide your teeth with strong control thanks to the wires and metal brackets that are used. They can only be taken out by a dentist, who can also ensure that they are repositioning your teeth correctly as they call for periodic checkups (every 4 to 6 weeks).
- Strength—Fitted metal braces are extremely unlikely to break or misalign.
- Faster—Metal braces often straighten teeth faster than detachable braces due to their great control over the teeth.
- Cost—In many cases, meta-braces offer among the most cost-effective treatment available.
The disadvantages include:
- Hygiene—There is a greater risk of tooth decay and gum disease when wearing braces because food can become lodged between the brackets and wires if proper dental hygiene is not practiced.
- Visibility—Conventional braces are among the most noticeable braces, which might be a crucial consideration for people who prefer more discrete orthodontic treatment.
- Restrictive—In addition to taking care of your oral hygiene as described above, you also need to be mindful of what you put in your mouth to prevent any food from causing the braces to shift. This means you have to put away your nuts, candies, and apples, among others, for the time being.
Similar to conventional braces, lingual braces fasten to the back sides of the teeth rather than the fronts. Although they are certainly less noticeable than conventional braces, not every orthodontist provides them.
The advantages of lingual braces include:
- Discreet—Lingual braces' primary benefit is that they're hidden behind a patient's teeth. This implies that to the untrained eye, lingual braces are practically unnoticeable.
- Strong—Lingual braces perform similarly to conventional metal braces, therefore they hardly ever break or shift out of place.
The disadvantages are:
- Cost—When compared to regular braces or Invisalign, lingual braces are frequently more expensive. The increase in the cost can be attributed to the higher cost of the braces, as well as the generally increased amount of training needed for orthodontists to become proficient in the specialized technique.
- Restrictive—Similar to traditional braces, you must avoid meals that are too hard or that could snag on the braces.
With Invisalign, the teeth can be straightened with a set of clear, removable aligners customized just for you. Invisalign trays are made of smooth, soft plastic and are designed to fit well over the teeth. They gradually shift and align the teeth in their right position over time, following a plan devised by your orthodontist using Invisalign's mapping system.
SureSmile is a cutting-edge orthodontic technique that makes use of 3D modeling of the mouth. Professional orthodontists can determine the ideal teeth position for any individual using the 3D models. This allows for an accurate bite modification and requires less time as well as fewer dental visits than a traditional brace.
The following are the advantages of clear aligners:
- The physical appearance—when compared to ceramic and metal braces, Invisalign's clear look makes them virtually unnoticeable. This is by far their most evident advantage.
- Comfort—Invisalign brace resembles a conventional mouthguard and is thus far more pleasant than ceramic or metal braces.
- Removable—since Invisalign braces can be easily and completely removed, you don't have to be concerned about avoiding foods that could stick or harm your braces.
The following are the disadvantages of clear aligners:
- Removable—this is another benefit, but it could also be viewed as a disadvantage. Invisalign braces only need to be removed when eating and brushing your teeth. However, since they are so simple to take off, it could be tempting to do so for other reasons. Therefore, putting on Invisalign braces requires self-discipline. Otherwise, they won't work as effectively as they are meant to.
- Inconvenience—this is another case in which the removability of Invisalign can be a disadvantage. For people who regularly snack during the day or who prefer traditional tea or coffee, having to take out their braces and clean their teeth before putting their Invisalign braces back on could swiftly become tiresome.
This type of brace is quite similar to a fixed metal brace. However, since they're made of ceramic, they're often tooth-colored or clear. This makes them a more discrete and subtle alternative for many people who get self-conscious about their braces.
These are the advantages of ceramic braces:
- Visibility—they are far more discreet than metal braces, even though they're still rather noticeable because they are usually clear or tooth-colored.
- Strength—ceramic braces provide the same level of support as metal braces.
- Time—ceramic braces, like metal braces, provide a faster orthodontic procedure than detachable braces.
The following are the disadvantages of ceramic braces:
- Size—a ceramic brace is frequently larger than traditional braces, which might make cleaning all around braces more difficult, resulting in sensitivity problems.
- Durability—a ceramic brace is weaker than a metal brace and thus more prone to breaking.
- Staining—ceramic braces could be more prone to staining because they are transparent or light in color. Therefore you would want to avoid consuming anything that could lead to staining like red wines, coffee, and curry.
This type of brace is similar to a conventional brace. However, instead of using an elastic band to secure the wire in place, they use a sliding device. There is no chance of taking conventional, lingual braces, or self-ligating braces off for a long period or forgetting to place them back on, as there could be with a clear aligner. They are all firmly attached to the teeth unless they're removed by a dentist.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Tooth Straightening Aligners
There are several factors to take into account while making a decision, and based on your condition, your dentist could be able to help you make the best decision.
The benefits and drawbacks of using aligners to straighten teeth are as follows:
- Most people won't notice you're wearing clear aligners if you compare them to the more obvious option of metal braces.
- They are usually less irritating to the gums and cheeks.
- Since they're removable, you can remove them before drinking or eating unless it is water.
- Normally, aligners take between 6 and 18 months to complete the treatment process as opposed to traditional braces' which take 18 to 36 months depending on your treatment plan.
- Each time you take out the trays, you'll need to clean your teeth.
- Staying on schedule with the treatment plan requires that you wear them for a set period each day.
- They can't address as many dental problems as conventional braces can.
- Although aligners don't need "adjustments," you'll receive new trays every so often to aid with the movement of the teeth. These adjustments will necessitate a visit to the dentist.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth Alignment for Adults
If you go to your dentist for an appointment, they'll probably go over your treatment program, needs, and all of your concerns. However, if the dentist doesn't attend to them initially, below are some inquiries you would want to know:
Can Straightening Aligners Be Helpful For My Unique Dental Issue?
Since straightening aligners do not address more complex orthodontic conditions, they might not be the best option for you.
How Frequently Will I Be Required To Visit the Dentist During My Treatment Program?
You'll most likely have to visit the dentist frequently to track your treatment plan's progress and ensure that all of the alignment trays are fitting properly, even though these aren't typical braces that require adjusting.
How Should I Care for My Teeth While on a Treatment Plan?
Aligners can be removed before taking meals or drinks. However, they do require frequent dental care and special maintenance of the alignment trays to ensure the teeth stay healthy and clean during treatment.
Do Teeth Straighteners Hurt?
While most patients claim that using teeth-straightening aligners is less unpleasant than using traditional braces, a person can still feel uncomfortable because the teeth continue to move.
What is the Duration of My Treatment Plan?
A dentist can provide you with a unique and customized schedule for the treatment plan.
What Is the Cost of Orthodontics Treatment?
Your orthodontist can estimate the price and could provide a payment schedule based on your unique plan. The dentist can also check with the insurance company to determine if the treatment is covered.
Would I Need To Put On A Retainer Once Treatment Is Done?
Following all of your efforts throughout treatment, you'll want to ensure that your teeth remain straight permanently. Your dentist would be able to discuss your retainer options and offer recommendations.
Contact a Los Angeles Dentist Near Me
Most people have issues with their teeth aligning during their early years or later in adulthood. Clinical conditions such as overbites, overcrowded teeth, and underbites are rather common and can be treated with tooth alignment techniques. Thanks to Align Technology, we now have access to the most cutting-edge solution for transparent braces, and orthodontists can learn how to properly set them.
We at Washington Dental have offices across Torrance, Los Angeles, Lomita Dentist, and Carson Dentist that are completely equipped to address your dental needs. We are ready to help you begin your journey for a brighter smile.