Modern times call for modern orthodontics. That means out with traditional braces and in with new, more up-to-date ways of straightening your teeth. So what is the best way to go about fixing your smile? Here’s a breakdown of the different methods and when you might consider them.
Self-ligating braces are made up of individual brackets that are glued to each tooth and connected with a thin metal wire. The brackets are designed to be as small as possible with rounded corners for comfort. A tiny spring-loaded door applies a gentle, constant pressure to the wires, eliminating the need for elastics and tightening.
Clear braces are a ceramic, or “clear”, version of the same self-ligating braces above. They are often the braces of choice for adult patients because they are less noticeable.
Self-ligating braces, both metal and clear, are more effective on complex issues and there is no additional work involved in wearing them. You don’t have to remember to take them out, put them back in, clean them, etc. However, they can cause some difficulty in eating food, tooth discoloration and soreness.
Invisalign® is the most discreet way of straightening teeth. It uses a series of clear, plastic removable fitted aligners to straighten teeth. They are typically worn around 20 hours a day and the aligners are switched out every 2 weeks.
With Invisalign® there is no discomfort from brackets and wires, no difficulty with eating and they are removable and invisible. On the other hand, you do have to remove them before eating or drinking anything but water and they need to be properly cleaned to avoid staining.
So which is the best option for you? It depends on your unique orthodontic needs. Your orthodontist can help you decide which treatment option will work best for you.