Since our mouth and smile, or lack thereof, is often one of the first thing that others notice about us, it’s no surprise that everyone desires to have a beautiful, aesthetic smile that they can confidently show off at any time, to any one. Unfortunately, crooked or misaligned teeth can adversely affect the wholeness and aesthetics of your smile. Luckily, the correct orthodontic treatment can correct these imperfections, and help you to realize your full smile potential.
One concern many patients have about participating in orthodontic treatment is how obvious it is to others that they are receiving this treatment. Metal braces, while incredibly effective and efficient at handling orthodontic issues, are not normally viewed as the most professional or aesthetic option. Clear aligners provide a viable alternative for many individuals who wish to improve their smiles a bit more discreetly.
Benefits of Clear Aligners
Every orthodontic situation is different, and after performing a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth your orthodontist will discuss the best option for you, while taking into consideration any concerns you have about more discreet treatment. It’s true that clear aligners are not always the most effective or efficient option for everyone, but when all else is the same there are a few key benefits for choosing clear aligners over metal braces. Consider the following:
- Clear aligners are less visible than metal braces. Clear aligners can appear nearly or completely invisible when placed in the mouth, unlike the more obviously visible metal braces. This is most useful for individuals who would prefer to conceal the fact that they are undergoing orthodontic treatment, for whatever reason. Additionally, clear aligners can sometimes help to hide gaps between the teeth, even while they work to shift the teeth and close these gaps.
- Clear aligners can be removed from the mouth while eating and brushing teeth. Along with their high visibility, metal braces tend to collect food while you’re eating, they can be difficult to clean well and they make normal tooth brushing more difficult. Clear aligners, on the other hand, can be entirely removed from the mouth while you’re eating and when you want to brush your teeth. This means that it’s easier to eat normally (individuals with metal braces also need to avoid eating certain foods that can loosen the brackets) and brush your teeth properly, and it’s also easier to keep your aligners clean. The one thing you need to bear in mind is that clear aligners cannot work while they are out of the mouth, so one will have to discipline himself or herself not to remove them frequently or leave them out unnecessarily for long stretches of time.
- Clear aligners do not require changes to oral hygiene habits. Since clear aligners can be removed from your mouth when you eat and brush your teeth, your current, successful oral hygiene habits can continue to be used to good result. Since metal braces are immovable, individuals who have them often have to adjust how they take care of their teeth in order to keep their teeth healthy and strong. It is not unusual for some individuals, especially younger patients whose oral hygiene habits are imperfect, to develop swollen gums as a result of the buildup of leftover food particles and harmful oral bacteria around and in between metal braces.
- Clear aligners do not require as much poking and prodding in the mouth for adjustments. Metal braces are definitely effective and efficient at shifting tooth position, but they need the orthodontist to tighten and adjust the wires regularly in order to do their job. This requires that the patient spend a good amount of time in the dental chair with someone poking and prodding around in their mouth. For some individuals this really isn’t an issue, but for others it can be incredibly uncomfortable. Clear aligners are made in a series of subtly different shapes, each one designed to move the teeth a little further into the correct position. This means far less time with uncomfortable adjustments, because “adjusting” tooth position simply requires that one move on to the next aligner.
For many individuals, the possibility of using clear aligners, instead of metal braces, opens the door to receiving orthodontic treatment as comfortably as possible. To learn more about clear aligners and how they can help you, contact Dr. Hansen today.