While everyone desires a smile that shows off straight, even teeth, misalignment isn’t purely a self-esteem issue, but a potentially serious health issue. Improper chewing can lead to digestive problems, and because our teeth are an important part of speech, poor dental alignment can cause impediments. Due to the difficulties of effectively cleaning between crooked teeth, people with dental misalignment are more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. Misalignment, or malocclusion, also leads to tongue and cheek bites, cracked teeth, chronic headaches, jaw strain, and more.
Taking steps to correct dental alignment is essential, and with many options available it can be overwhelming to determine which method is the best choice. Here’s a comparison of two popular dental alignment options: Invisalign and traditional braces.
Maintain Proper Hygiene
A major factor in determining the proper dental alignment technique is hygiene. Both Invisalign and traditional braces require special attention to hygiene. Because Invisalign uses removable trays, users are able to brush and floss their teeth normally, using standard techniques and tools. Of course, Invisalign users need to remember to brush after every meal, and not just twice a day, before replacing the trays in their mouths. Maintaining proper oral hygiene can be much more challenging with traditional braces. The wires tend to catch food, and require special brushes and picks to aid in removing it. Braces can also cause decalcifications, or white spots, which are permanent stains around the braces.
Taking on the task of dental realignment is a big time commitment – no matter what method you use. Braces and Invisalign take about the same amount of time to work, so many people want to know which is going to be an overall easier experience. Traditional braces and Invisalign both require regular check-ups. For traditional braces, an adjustment usually takes about 30 minutes and appointments are scheduled approximately every 4-8 weeks; with Invisalign, the appointments tend to be shorter (15-20 minutes) and are scheduled every 2-3 months. Loose wires or dislodgment of traditional braces can also result in time-consuming and costly trips to the emergency room.
No matter what method you use, dental realignment can be uncomfortable because your teeth need to move within your gums. Braces adjustments happen every 1-2 months, and the procedure is often followed by a few days of painful recalibration. Invisalign trays are changed weekly, so tooth movements are smaller and cause less pain. Because of the metal brackets and wires, braces also increase your risk of additional pain and infection from cuts to your tongue and cheeks.
Eat Your Favorite Foods
When it comes to the impact of dental realignment on our daily lives, there are a couple things to consider. First and foremost: eating. With traditional braces, foods like bagels, popcorn, caramel, nuts, and corn on the cob are off limits due to their textures or bite. Invisalign trays are removed for eating, so there is no disruption to meal time. You just need to remember to clean your teeth before putting them back in. The other thing to consider is speech. Some Invisalign users experience a slight lisp as they get used to wearing the trays. Traditional braces can impede fluency and cause slurring and other speech troubles. While also temporary and correctable, it may take more practice and focus to correct.
Smile with Confidence
Many people seek dental realignment primarily due to aesthetics, but most patients also think about how their smiles look during the process. Invisalign trays are virtually unnoticeable, and many teens and adults prefer the privacy it affords them while they correct their misalignment. While traditional braces are more noticeable, there are options to add fun colors to brackets or minimize the appearance of wires and bands.
Prioritize Your Oral Health with Accent Dental Group
Invisalign and traditional braces both effectively correct dental alignment issues. Weighing the benefits of each is an important step to take. Once you’ve considered these options, talk to a dentist about which method is age-appropriate and right for your unique alignment needs and lifestyle. At Accent Dental Group, our friendly staff will consult with you, and provide all the tools and advice you need to make the right choice for you or your family. With years of experience and advanced dental technology, our dentists will identify any oral health or dental problems you’re experiencing, answer lingering questions you have about procedures and care, and find the treatment that’s right for you. Find out more at our website: accentdentalgroup.com.