Nowadays, many of us place importance on our smile. Braces have long been a traditional way of achieving straighter teeth. But advancements have introduced alternative options to the market that you might also want to consider. One alternative option on offer nowadays is aligners. We’ve found that many of our patients (or their parents) have recently booked in a consultation with us to ask whether braces or aligners will be a better option for them. When it comes down to it, this is an entirely personal choice and the best option for you will depend on your personal preferences and priorities. Here’s some more information on both options to help you make the right decision!
What are Braces?
Let’s start out by determining the difference between braces and aligners. Braces are an option that has been around for longer. They are typically made of metal or porcelain and are attached to your teeth. Metal wires and rubber bands are then attached and used to create a force that can be used to move your teeth into the correct position.
- Suitable for most – braces can treat all alignment issues with teeth, including some that aligners are unable to rectify
- Variety in appearance – braces can be created in all sorts of colors. There are also porcelain braces, which are much more discreet
- Simplicity – once braces are fixed to your teeth, they are in constant use. You can’t forget to use them
- Hygiene – it can be difficult to clean your teeth properly and thoroughly when braces are in place
- Diet – you won’t be able to eat certain foods while you have braces attached to your teeth. Hard or sugary and sticky foods need to be avoided
- Comfort – braces can cause discomfort by rubbing on the cheeks and lips
- Appearance – braces tend to be more visibly noticeable than aligners
What are Aligners?
Aligners are an alternative to braces. They are made of plastic and are custom made to fit your teeth, so molds will be taken to create them. You will use a set of aligners, each one slightly different in shape to slowly move your teeth, step by step, towards their final correct position. The aligner can be fixed to your teeth using small amounts of composite resin to keep the aligner in place
- Appearance – aligners tend to be much less noticeable than braces, as they are clear and custom made to fit your teeth
- Diet – you remove your aligners to eat, so you can continue eat whatever foods you please while using them
- Hygiene – you remove your aligners to clean your teeth, so you can brush and floss more easily
- Compliance – you need to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day for them to be effective. You should only remove them when eating or cleaning your teeth. If you take them out and forget to put them back in, your treatment will be affected.
- Effectiveness – aligners aren’t effective for all dental issues. You may find that they aren’t suitable for your individual treatment
- Cost – some aligners can cost more than braces, due to the extensive molding involved in creating them and the number of aligners required
As you can see, both braces and aligners have their perks. But the best for you will depend entirely on your needs! Book a consultation for further information and personal recommendations!