Are you trying to decide the best way to straighten your teeth? For many adults and teens, the answer is aligners, but it can depend on the severity of your teeth alignment problems. Dr. Laster, has put together some pros, cons and information on each teeth straightening method.
Braces for Teeth Alignment
Braces consist of metal or ceramic brackets that are affixed to the teeth, using dental cement, and connected via a wire. Every four to six weeks, the wires are adjusted. O-rings, which are elastic bands, can also be put over the brackets in order to put more pressure on the teeth and jaw, and spacers can be put between the teeth to push the jaw forward and increase the spaces between the teeth. Spacers are generally put between the molars. The treatment time for braces typically ranges between one and two years but can be as long as three years.
Pros of Braces
- Can be used by teens and adults
- Can help increase self-esteem
- Clear ceramic braces are less noticeable than metal braces
- Effectively treats mild to severe cases of overbites, underbites, crossbites
- Repositions gapped, crooked and crowded teeth
- Helps improve the appearance of the teeth
- Improved ability to clean the teeth after treatment
- May increase the strength and resilience of the gum tissue
- Some individuals may be able to get lingual braces, which are affixed to the back of the teeth
Cons of Braces
- Brackets can come loose from the teeth and wires can break
- Can be extremely visible
- Certain foods cannot be eaten while undergoing treatment with braces
- Follow-up appointments must be scheduled every four to six weeks.
- Long treatment times when compared to aligners
- May be more expensive than aligning trays
- Teeth are typically sore after each adjustment
- Teeth must be brushed and flossed after every meal and snack in order to prevent tooth decay
Maintenance of Braces
The maintenance of braces can seem a little tedious at first. Individuals must avoid certain types of food, like hard candy and tough pieces of meat, because these foods could loosen the brackets and break the wires. Extremely chewy foods and sugar-containing drinks should also be avoided. Chewy foods can get stuck in and around the braces and sugary drinks can deposit sugar under the edges of the brackets, which can be difficult to clean. Additionally, teens and adults with braces must brush, floss and rinse thoroughly after every meal in order to remove all food particles and plaque. If food particles and plaque are left on the teeth for an extended period of time, cavities can develop under the braces. Flossing also takes longer because the individual must use a floss threader in order to floss between the wire and the gumline.
Aligners for Teeth Alignment
Clear aligning trays, referred to as aligners, can straighten teeth almost invisibly. The trays are put over the teeth and worn for a minimum of 22 hours a day. Treatment programs are customized for the individual and their specific teeth and jaw alignment problems. Once the treatment has been developed, the teen or adult will receive a set of trays. Each tray is worn for between two and three weeks. Then, a new tray is inserted. Each tray is designed to move the teeth to a specific location in the mouth. Most individuals can straighten their teeth with aligning trays within six to 12 months, and follow-up appointments are typically scheduled every six to eight weeks.
Pros of Aligners
- Can be removed for eating and drinking
- Can be used to complete treatment that was started with traditional braces
- Can be used to correct the misaligned teeth in individuals who have previously had braces
- Can be used to treat certain types of over, under and crossbites
- Great for correcting gapped, crowded and improperly gapped teeth
- More comfortable than traditional braces
- Nearly invisible when worn
- No special at-home oral hygiene products are needed
- Very few dietary restrictions and no food restrictions at mealtimes
Cons of Aligners
- Aligners should only be removed for eating meals and brushing and flossing the teeth
- Foods and drinks, other than water, should not be consumed while wearing the aligners
- Must be worn a minimum of 22 hours a day in order to be effective
- The teeth must be thoroughly brushed and flossed after every meal and snack before the aligners are reinserted over the teeth.
Maintenance of Aligners
Aligners require less maintenance than traditional braces. This is because the individual does not need to spend an extended amount of time making sure they brush around their brackets and floss above the wires. Aligners do need to be cleaned nightly in a special solution to ensure they do not stain or become bacteria-laden. When not being worn during meals and snacks, the aligners should be stored in their cases. Aligners and the cases should never be left in cars or near hot objects because the aligners could warp.
Braces for Perfect Teeth Alignment
Braces can be used to correct teeth and jaw alignment problems in older children, teenagers and adults. Braces from Laster Orthodontics are especially beneficial when they are used to correct bite and teeth alignment problems in children because their mouths are still growing and developing. Braces can even be used to direct jaw growth in order to reduce the risk of your child developing a severe over or underbite.
Of course, just because braces are typically worn by children, doesn’t mean they are extremely popular for the over 21 crowd. In fact, nearly 20 percent of individuals over the age of 21 choose braces to straighten their teeth and perfect their smiles. Our orthodontist can even customize the teeth straightening process in order to ensure the best results in the shortest period of time.
What Are the Cost Differences?
Braces tend to be slightly more expensive than aligners, according to Consumer Guide to Dentistry. This may be due to the need for frequent adjustments and visits to the orthodontist. On average, braces cost between $3,000 and $7,000. Aligners don’t require as many visits to the orthodontist as traditional braces. Costs typically start at $3,000 and can be as high as $5,000, depending on the brand of aligner.
Who Is the Best Candidate for Aligners?
If you have teeth, you are a good candidate for clear aligning trays. This is because aligners can be used to straighten mild to severe cases of tooth alignment problems, including large spaces between the teeth, crowded and twisted teeth and even over, under and crossbites. Individuals typically choose clear aligners because they are extremely discrete, which is important for individuals who have jobs that require interacting with the public or high-profile jobs that involve interacting with employees and other professionals in their chosen industry. Since aligners are removable, individuals can take them out and store them for job interviews, dates and even important social gatherings without affecting their treatment timeline.
What About Laster Perfect Smile for Teeth Alignment?
When it comes to straightening your teeth so that you can improve the appearance of your smile and reduce your risk of developing cavities and gum disease, the Laster Perfect Smile may be the perfect choice for you. The Laster Perfect Smile System is designed to give you your dream smile quickly, conveniently and affordably when compared to other types of treatments and treatment plans. Treatment starts with a thorough examination in order to create a precision plan for straightening your teeth. Then, a set of LPS aligners are designed for you right in our in-house laboratory. We do not use overseas technicians. The ability of Dr. Laster to create your trays in our laboratory reduces costs and ensures that you get the best quality trays. It also allows us to completely customize and update your treatment plan so that it works in the shortest amount of time possible, which means you can have the perfect smile faster.
To learn more about your options for teeth straightening, call Dr. Laster today at 919-676-0541 and schedule your free consultation. We have offices in Raleigh, Zebulon and Rolesville North Carolina.
At Laster Orthodontics, we help families develop healthy, life-changing smiles using customized treatments, cutting-edge technologies, and caring relationships. Our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve their perfect smile in the quickest, most painless way possible by utilizing a wide range of options from traditional braces to propel accelerated treatment to Dr. Laster's in-house aligner program, Laster Perfect Smile. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we create life-changing smiles every day.