May 3, 2016
Adult orthodontic care has become more common.
Many people who did not receive orthodontic treatment as teenagers are now in a position where they can afford the treatment on their own. As a result, the number of working adults having their teeth straightened is on the rise.
You may be thinking about correcting your crooked or crowded teeth, too. Maybe you have gaps in your smile that you want to go away.
If you live in or near Salem, OR, our dentist can help. Just contact Oregon Smile Care Center to get started with a consultation.
Know Your Options
Today, we want to compare two ways you could straighten your teeth. Traditional braces have been used for a long time, but they aren’t your only option. You may be able to get the smile you want with Invisalign, too.
You are likely aware of how braces work, but we will review just to be sure.
If you receive braces, you will have brackets attached to your teeth. Traditionally, these are made of metal, although some braces use ceramic brackets.
A wire runs through and connected the brackets to one another. The wires help to guide the straightening process.
Some, but not all, braces use ligatures. These are tiny rubber bands that attach to posts on your braces. Ligatures provide additional force that assists your braces in moving your teeth.
Invisalign takes a different approach. With Invisalign, you will wear plastic, transparent aligners. Each aligner pushes your teeth a little bit. You will replace your aligners sequentially until your teeth have been straightened.
We explained above how braces and Invisalign work. Now we want you to understand some of the other differences in these two approaches:
◆ Treatment time — Let’s start with one of the biggest differences. Traditional braces take about two years to completely move your teeth. Invisalign treatments usually take about 12 months.
Braces move your teeth in two stages. During the first stage, your braces move the crowns of your teeth. This takes about a year. In the second stage, your braces move the roots of your teeth. This, too, takes about a year.
With Invisalign, the aligners gently push your teeth a little bit at a time. The end result is the same as you would see with braces.
◆ Daily use — You can’t take off your braces until your treatment is complete. As a result, you may have to avoid certain sticky, chewy, crunchy, or hard foods to prevent damaging your braces.
You may need to learn some new ways of brushing your teeth and use some special tools to keep food from getting stuck between your teeth, your wires, and your brackets.
You need to wear your Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours per day for the best results. During the other two hours, you can remove your aligners to eat and to perform your daily brushing and flossing routine. You won’t have to give up any of your favorite foods, and you don’t have to change your normal oral hygiene routine, with the exception of cleaning the aligner.
◆ Visibility — This may be an important consideration for you. While adult orthodontics have become more common, they can still be a distraction in professional and social situations.
You can’t really hide the metal pieces attached to your teeth. Ceramic braces may match your teeth, but they are not invisible.
Invisalign, on the other hand, is transparent. When the aligners are in place, your smile will still look natural and normal. This may make you feel more comfortable when talking to someone for work or personal reasons.
A Quick Word On Relapse
When you complete any orthodontic treatment, you will likely need to wear a retainer for a short time. This is to help keep your teeth in their new position.
Without the retainer, your teeth may want to drift back to their original positions.
Most of the time this is not an issue, but sometimes people who had braces as teenagers experience a relapse when they get older. If you are one of those people, we suspect you may not want to relive your experience with braces.
Invisalign can help correct the problems of relapse and straighten your smile once again.
See Your Straighter Smile
Oregon Smile Care Center is here whenever you are ready to discuss your teeth-straightening options. If you live in or near Salem, OR, you can schedule an appointment with our dentist by calling (503) 837-2718 or filling out our online form.