Aligners vs. Braces
Your teeth are an important feature in your mouth. They allow you to chew your food and speak properly. When your teeth are misaligned, it affects your abilities to do both. It affects your oral health, causing uneven tooth wear and jaw pain (known as a temporomandibular joint disorder). Misaligned teeth also affect your smile. At Amborn Orthodontics, we can help to bring your teeth into alignment. We can do this with traditional braces or with aligners.
What are braces?Traditional braces consist of metal brackets, bands, archwires and elastic o-rings, which hold the archwires to the brackets. The archwires put pressure on your teeth, forcing them to move gradually into proper alignment, and then holding them there while the bone tissue grows around them. Depending upon your needs, rubber bands or springs can also be attached to further guide your mouth into alignment, particularly side to side.
What are aligners?Aligners are an alternative to traditional braces. Like braces, aligners use gradual force to push your teeth into proper alignment. Rather than metal brackets and wires, however, aligners are made from a strong, clear plastic material, that is custom-made to fit your mouth. Typically, aligners need to be changed periodically to achieve the desired results.
Pros and Cons of BracesDespite the changes in technology, traditional braces still continue to be a treatment of choice. This is because they are so effective. With traditional braces, we have the most control over your treatment process. Traditional braces also tend to be more affordable than aligners.
However, braces do have a few disadvantages. For one, their visibility in the mouth can be a serious cause of self-consciousness, especially for older patients. Traditional braces are bulky and can cause physical discomfort in the mouth. Wires can break, and jab sensitive oral tissues, leading to painful irritation. Traditional braces also require a significant amount of time and effort when it comes to oral maintenance. You need to be extra diligent when you brush and floss, making sure that you get all areas of your teeth, between your teeth and around the brackets.
Pros and Cons of AlignersAligners are often a great alternative if you do not want to wear traditional braces. One of the biggest advantages of aligners is that they are less visible in the mouth, thanks to being constructed from clear plastic. They are also removable, which makes them much more convenient when it comes to eating or your oral hygiene routine. Aligners are more comfortable and are much less likely to cause irritation to your oral tissues.
Despite the numerous advantages of aligners, they, too, come with a few disadvantages. For one, there is a more limited treatment ability associated with aligners than with traditional braces. This is because aligners lack brackets and wires, giving less control over the movement of your teeth. Aligners also may not be an appropriate course of action if you have severe malocclusion, vertical tooth movement or a serious bite problem.
If crooked teeth are affecting your quality of life, orthodontic treatment may be the answer. If you are interested in learning more about the differences between aligners and braces, and which one is right for you, call Amborn Orthodontics at (503) 967-9887 to schedule your appointment today!