Orthodontics – Clear aligners and braces
Orthodontics is a dentistry specialty that addresses the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of mal-positioned teeth and jaws, and misaligned bite patterns. It may also address the modification of facial growth, known as dentofacial orthopedics. Abnormal alignment of the teeth and jaws is very common.
What’s the difference between Clear Aligners and Braces?
Braces are made of metal or porcelain and are attached to your teeth. Metal wires and rubber bands are then used to provide a force to help the teeth move into the correct position. Aligners are made of plastic and are custom-made to fit your teeth. Each aligner moves the teeth step by step towards the final position.
One appliance is not inherently better than another. What is used for an individual’s correction will be based on the goals of treatment and the patient’s lifestyle needs. Some things, however, apply to all patients, regardless of the type of appliance. For example, all patients must brush and floss their teeth daily and will need to wear retainers post-treatment.
Most orthodontic problems can be successfully treated using braces. Braces have been the traditional form of treatment used by orthodontists for decades, but today’s streamlined braces come in a variety of models – typically in stainless steel or tooth-colored ceramic.
While there are more inconspicuous options (tooth-colored brackets, braces that go behind the teeth), other elements remain visible (rubber bands, wires, brackets). You can, however, choose the colors of your rubber bands.
For a stable and functional result, braces remain affixed to the teeth throughout the course of treatment. On the bright side, you can’t lose them, unless you eat hard and sticky foods.
There may be some initial discomfort when braces are placed or adjusted, and brackets and wires can temporarily irritate mouth tissue. Overall, the discomfort is short-lived and easily managed. Once patients become accustomed to their braces, they may even forget they have them on.
Patients will need to keep teeth, gums, and braces free of plaque and food debris so bacteria can’t attack tooth enamel or cause inflamed gums. Food debris and plaque must be removed by frequent brushing and flossing.
Those with braces must steer clear of foods that are hard, sticky, crunchy, and chewy to avoid breaking a bracket or popping a wire out of the bracket. Patients should opt for water instead of sweet juices, soft drinks, flavored waters, or sports drinks – these can contain acids and sugars, and both are bad for tooth enamel.
Clear aligners are plastic replicas of your teeth that are all slightly different. Wearing them puts gentle pressure on the teeth, ever-so-slightly repositioning them. Aligners are one of many technological advancements that have made orthodontic treatment less conspicuous and one of the many appliances orthodontists use to move teeth and align jaws.
Aligners are clear, thin, plastic-like trays, making them virtually invisible and allowing an individual to inconspicuously achieve a straight smile. Tooth-coloured attachments are frequently placed on the teeth to help guide the teeth into place. Aligners are designed to minimize the appearance of the appliance to better fit any lifestyle.
Many patients appreciate that aligners are removable. Take them out to eat, to brush and floss, or for short periods for work or social occasions. The key responsibility is wearing them as prescribed. That typically means a minimum of 22 hours a day and in the correct sequence.
While there may be some initial discomfort when a patient switches to a new set of aligners, the discomfort can be easily managed. Removing aligners because they are uncomfortable defeats their purpose. Aligners can’t work unless they are in the mouth.
It is critical to avoid drinking soft drinks, sweet juices, flavoured waters, or sports drinks of any kind with aligners in. Liquids seep into aligners and if they contain acid, sugar, or both, it can rapidly lead to staining of the teeth and extensive decay. Teeth need to be spotless when aligners are placed in the mouth.