Smile Like You Mean It
when i was in my early teens, i got metal braces to fix my super crooked teeth. i wore them for around two years, and was pleased with how effectively they worked their magic. however, i was too slacking in my retainer upkeep; i rarely wore them in the year that followed my brace removal, and stopped altogether after that. i had no idea how necessary it all was — and i am now suffering the consequences.
thankfully, i am not without options. nowadays, if you have crooked teeth that are negatively affecting either your confidence or oral health (or both), you don’t have to continue living with them forever. there are simple and effective orthodontic appliances that can give you a straighter smile in just a few months.
the two main options available these days are traditional metal braces and clear plastic aligners. if like me, you are unsure which would be the best route to take, here are some details that may help you decide:
METAL BRACES: pros and cons
metal braces have been used to straighten teeth and correct misaligned bites (also known as malocclusions) for many years. consisting of a wire that links a series of metal or ceramic brackets which are attached to each tooth, metal braces work by slowly but surely forcing the teeth into the correct positions.
the benefits of braces are their versatility and effectiveness, as they can correct a variety of dental problems ranging in severity from mild to extreme. they can also be used even if you have veneers, crowns, or bridges.
on the downside, braces are worn 24 hours a day and, as a result, need to be cleaned and maintained thoroughly. because they are worn while eating, some foods may have to be avoided, as they could get stuck in the braces. treatment length can also be a negative factor. in general, a person will wear braces for a year and a half to two years – a length of time that could be off-putting for some people.
CLEAR ALIGNERS: pros and cons
clear aligners are a more recent innovation in orthodontic treatments. they consist of clear plastic trays that are molded to fit each person’s unique set of teeth.
unlike braces, aligners can easily be removed so you can eat and clean your teeth. because they are see-through, they are also a great deal less intrusive than metal braces, preventing any feeling of self-consciousness when wearing them. treatment using clear aligners is also usually a lot faster than traditional braces; in fact, many patients see results in just 4 to 6 months, as explained in this article written by experts from ALIGNERCO.
on the downside, aligners may not be as effective as metal braces for treating more severe dental complications, so the nature of your condition could possibly rule them out as an option.
ALIGNERS vs BRACES: Which one is for you?
now that you know the main the benefits and advantages of braces and aligners, you are a step closer in deciding which type of treatment will work best for your situation. as mentioned above, in some cases, treatment with clear aligners may not be possible, even if you would prefer to use them. it would still be best to consult a trusted orthodontist.
however, if your dental problem would benefit from either appliance, you should opt for the one that will fit most conveniently into your lifestyle. you should also consider your budget: either of these options can be more expensive than the other, depending on the type of brace you go for and other factors, such as location.
as for me, i’m leaning slightly more toward aligners, as i am so curious about them. i find the conveniences very appealing, but they do tend to be rather costly where i live. i definitely have a lot to think about!