Traditional Braces vs. Clear Aligners
Until recently, most people, typically teens, chose metal braces to straighten their teeth. Adults were more likely to live with their teeth the way they were rather than get braces on their teeth. Now, however, clear aligners are available for adults as well as teens. Clear aligners are a series of transparent orthodontic devices that cover your teeth, gently pulling them into proper alignment over time. Because the devices are clear and can be removed, they are less noticeable than metal braces.
If you are an adult wondering if you might benefit from clear aligners or are looking into orthodontic options for your teen, please visit our office at Newport Dental Group so we can explain how aligners work and answer your questions.
Clear aligners do exactly what traditional metal braces do, without wires or brackets, and in most cases, faster. Unlike braces, aligners are not invasive and do not require the support of your existing teeth to help align your teeth. It is not a fixed device inside your mouth but rather something that you can take out and put back throughout the day. Traditional braces, on the other hand, are a little more invasive and may require extraction of a tooth or two. Braces are bound around your molars for support to push your front teeth behind. This, alone, makes aligners more comfortable to wear.
After a dental exam, we will determine if clear aligners are the best choice for your needs. Then, we will take x-rays, create a 3D prototype, and photos of your teeth. These will be sent to the laboratory, where your clear aligners will be created. When your aligners arrive, we will check to be sure the fit is correct and make any needed adjustments. Your aligners will be worn all day, every day. The only times you will remove them is at mealtimes and when you brush and floss. Each set of aligners will be worn for two weeks before switching to the next set. At the beginning of each set, the aligners will feel tight. That is normal, since they are designed to gently move your teeth into alignment. After a few days, they may start to feel slightly looser. Even if they feel very loose, continue to wear them and do not switch to a new set until it's time to do so. Switching early may interfere with the treatment plan. Throughout the process you will visit the office regularly, so we can check the progress of your aligners. The average time it takes for teeth to be realigned using clear aligners is about one year, but this depends on the age and needs of each person.
No Food Restrictions
With braces, you must be careful about what you eat. They also need extra care to ensure they stay free of food particles that could cause tooth damage. That is something you will not have to worry about when using clear aligners. One of the best things about aligners is that they are removed before eating, so there are no limitations on the types of food you eat. You must brush and floss before putting them back on, however.
If you want to learn more about clear aligners, give us a call at (949) 574-0100 or visit us at Newport Dental Group. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and get you on the way to a brilliant smile.