Braces and Invisalign

The American Association of Orthodontists say that as many as 75% of Americans suffer from some level of “malocclusion,” which is an “irregular contact of opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaws.”  In other words, nearly three-fourths of Americans deal in some way with crooked and misplaced teeth.

Orthodontics can produce many positive aspects for those who are part of this seventy-five percent.

Here are a few of the most common:

  • When you have straight teeth, you have the aesthetic benefit of a beautiful smile.
  • When you have straight teeth, it is easier to chew your food.
  • When you have straight teeth, your teeth are more protected.  It is possible to crack or break the visible part of a tooth when you are biting with misaligned teeth.
  • When you have straight teeth, your jawbone is protected.  The supporting bone in your jaw will eventually be destroyed if you are consistently chewing with misaligned teeth.
  • When you have straight teeth, it is easier to practice good oral hygiene.  Crooked teeth offer many place for food to hide and for plaque to build up.

For many years, braces have been the primary tool of orthodontics for straightening teeth.  There are several types of braces from which to choose, and they are certainly effective for dealing with crooked teeth. You can use the traditional metal braces which use wires and brackets to gradually straighten the teeth.  Some prefer the ceramic braces.  They work in much the same way as metal braces, but the color can match the teeth.  Some are even transparent.  This allows the patient to deal with his dental issues without being so obvious.

While braces are an effective option for crooked teeth, there is one choice that has become very popular in recent years.  Invisalign is a system that uses a series of removable, transparent trays to gradually straighten your teeth.  They have five major advantages over braces.

  • Invisalign is essentially invisible – The clear plastic trays are virtually unnoticeable by the many people that you interact with each day.
  • Invisalign involves few office visits – The aligners are all created at the beginning of the treatment, and you will only need to visit the office often enough to check on your progress and hand you the next set of trays.
  • Invisalign makes oral hygiene simple – With braces, the patient must brush and floss around a mouth full of metal.  The Invisalign trays pop right out when it comes time to brush, floss, and rinse.
  • Invisalign requires no restrictions on your food – A patient with braces must avoid many foods that may be harmful to the braces.  However, a patient with Invisalign can simply remove the trays and eat whatever he desires at mealtime.
  • Invisalign rarely requires any tooth extraction – It is not uncommon for someone to have teeth removed in order to have braces put on his teeth.  This is almost never necessary with Invisalign.