Aligners Vs. Braces
Dr. Greeley may have just told you that straightening your teeth would be a good idea for your oral health, and would give you a brighter smile. They would’ve laid out the different options in front of you, and explained what each meant. It can be difficult to choose, as both braces and aligners have their own benefits and drawbacks.
At Greeley Orthodontics we don’t want you to feel anxious about making the decision between aligners and braces, as we know whichever you choose, we will provide the most care-free treatment possible, and we can help you along your journey.
Braces have been the traditional method for many years now. They stand as the staple to teeth straightening, and for good reasons. They provide the most effective treatment, in terms of being able to straighten the most misaligned teeth, and in giving Dr. Greeley the most amount of precision they need when adjusting the braces. Braces can accommodate teeth straightening in scenarios in which aligners cannot.
Braces can be expected to straighten teeth in 1-3 years, depending on several factors, including how much the teeth have to move to be straightened. However, patients must be vigilant with their dental hygiene, as brushing and flossing can be more difficult with braces. Dr. Greeley can recommend special brushes if needed.
The most obvious downside is the aesthetic, as many teenagers and adults alike dislike the metal brackets and wires. While the number of components, and their size, has reduced over the years, braces are still more obvious to onlookers compared to aligners. Any complications with braces, i.e. wires protruding, bracket coming loose, means you may need to make an emergency visit to our office as soon as possible. This can prove to be an inconvenience, but patients often experience no emergencies in the course of their treatment.
The obvious benefit of using aligners is that they are virtually undetectable from a social distance. Your friends and co-workers may not even be aware that you are having orthodontic treatment. For the most part they are comfortable, however, it may take some getting used to the first week or so as you learn the art of inserting and removing the aligners yourself. Some tooth soreness is common as you change aligners out either every week or every two weeks depending on your treatment plan. We normally recommend wearing your aligners 21 hours per day to assure tooth movement.
A second benefit of wearing aligners is their ease in cleaning. They are removable so you have the benefit of being able to see any plaque that is clinging to the aligners. Brushing with a toothbrush you no longer use in your mouth allows you to use liquid soap to clean the inside of the aligners and still keep them scratch free. Soaking in peroxide and water for 5-10 minutes can also help keep the aligners fresh.
A third benefit of aligner treatment is that, for the most part, you can eat what you like. It is best to remove the aligners, however, for major meals and hot liquids. We highly recommend placing your aligners in your case when they are not being worn will eliminate misplacing them or, worse, losing them!