Millions of Americans suffer from orthodontic issues, such as misaligned teeth, which if left untreated could create oral issues in the future. For example, there are some cases where misaligned teeth continue to grow crooked over time, which makes it harder to clean in between the teeth. If individuals are unable to effectively clean between their teeth, plaque and bacteria could build up and lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and eventually tooth loss. Dentists often provide treatment options to correctly align the teeth, which usually consist of braces or Invisalign. Depending on the type of orthodontic issues an individual is having, a dental professional may suggest one over the other.
Braces have been used to fix orthodontic issues for decades and they usually come in the form of tooth-colored ceramic, stainless steel, and gold. Braces are extremely visible unless they’re placed behind the teeth or are the same color as the teeth. Some parts of braces still remain visible, such as the bands, wires, and brackets. Braces cannot be removed unless by a professional. Unless damaged by hard or sticky food, they remain fixed to the teeth. Initially, braces may feel uncomfortable when they’re placed or adjusted, especially from the brackets or wires but the discomfort is only temporary.
After each meal, those who wear braces must brush and floss their teeth to successfully remove excess food and plaque. Doing so will prevent the teeth and gums from being attacked by bacteria. Those wearing braces must also steer away from food that is hard, sticky, chewy, or crunchy. These foods could break a bracket or pop the wire. Soda, carbonated water, and sports drinks should also be avoided in order to prevent acid from attacking the outer layer of the teeth, also known as the enamel.
Invisalign are clear aligners made of plastic that cover the teeth. Individuals often select this option because clear aligners are less obvious and still straighten the teeth by slightly repositioning them every time they’re adjusted. Unlike braces, clear aligners are removable and must be removed before eating and drinking. They also must be removed when brushing and flossing, but they must be worn at least twenty-two hours per day in order to effectively straighten the teeth. Because they can be removed, it’s easy for aligners to be damaged or accidentally thrown away. Just like braces, they may be initially uncomfortable when initially placed or adjusted, but the discomfort subsides.
When wearing clear aligners, the only liquid that can be consumed is water – other liquid seeps into the aligners, which could rapidly cause tooth decay and/or stain the teeth. Clear aligners are able to successfully fix about 90 percent of orthodontic issues, while the other 10 percent may have to be fixed by braces.
At McBride Dental, we offer MTM clear aligners to provide our patients with the option of avoiding traditional metal braces. Our clear aligners are a more convenient option designed to help our patients fix their crooked teeth and gaps. Every few weeks our patients come in for new aligners until their smile is straight and healthy. We also offer other services, such as preventative care services, gum disease treatment, and more. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 760-471-1003.