The Importance of Braces and Clear Aligners

If you suffer from dental problems like an overbite, an underbite, or crowded teeth, braces or clear aligners might be your best option. It’s easier than it has ever been to straighten and fix your teeth, but how do you know if traditional braces or clear aligners are right for you? Dr. Gould and Dr. Willis at Trail West Family Dentistry can help assist with clear aligner treatment.

What are clear aligners? 

Invisalign®, one of the most popular clear aligners, is a revolutionary treatment for correcting dental problems. With Invisalign®, teeth are aligned to their correct positioning using clear guides. These fit snugly on your teeth, making them almost impossible for anyone to notice. 

What are traditional braces? 

Traditional braces help reposition and straighten your teeth through the use of metal or plastic brackets and rubber bands or wires. Your dentist tightens your brackets during appointments to change the position of your teeth. 

Benefits of Clear Aligners:

  • Aesthetics:
    • Clear aligners look better than traditional braces. Where traditional braces are obvious in appearance, clear aligners are virtually invisible, which means no one will know you’re wearing aligners unless you tell them. 
  • Comfort:
    • Clear aligners use a highly elastic material to move the teeth constantly, leading to more comfort than traditional braces and greater control over your teeth’s movement.
  • Removable: 
    • Clear aligners allow wearers to remove the trays after brushing, eating, and flossing. Unlike regular braces, you don’t need special tools to remove food trapped between brackets. Also, there’s no need to use awkward angles for brushing areas of your mouth. Because their removable, clear aligners are easier to clean as well. 
  • Treatment Time:
    • Treatment time for clear aligners usually takes between 10-24 months. In contrast, traditional braces might take as long as five years to align your teeth correctly. 
  • Predictable Results:
    • With clear aligners, there are no surprises. With options like Invisalign®, dental patients undergo treatment planning that is fully computerized, so you’ll know exactly what to expect and how long you will need the braces before you ever begin wearing them. Traditional braces, however, can be a trial-and-error situation that leaves no clear idea of what’s to come. 
  • Reduced Risk of Dental Problems:
    • Traditional braces contain wire and protruding pieces of metal that can puncture the insides of the mouth and gums, whereas clear braces are smooth and comfortable. Traditional braces can affect decaying teeth and demineralization, and they use a great deal of force to straighten your teeth. These are issues that do not happen with clear aligners. In general, clear braces can reduce the damage normally caused by traditional braces, including cavities and gum disease. 


Benefits of Traditional Metal Braces:

  • More Effective for Complex Cases:
    • Traditional braces are still the best option for more challenging realignment cases. They are the most effective teeth alignment solution for numerous orthodontic cases because they allow the orthodontist to correct tough teeth alignments by planning the treatment and shifting each tooth. 
  • No Risk of Losing or Misplacing Them:
    • Unlike clear aligners, which are removed for activities such as eating and brushing, traditional braces stay in place. They are designed to last as long as your treatment duration, so they can survive the everyday wear and tear of brushing and chewing food. This means that there is no risk of losing or misplacing traditional braces. 
  • No Need for Self-discipline:
    • You don’t need the self-discipline needed for clear aligners to use traditional braces. Because they remain in your mouth through everyday activities and while sleeping, you will not lose them and will not need to constantly clean or care for them in the same way that’s needed for clear aligners.  
  • Cost-effective:
    • Traditional braces are more affordable than other teeth alignment solutions, making them a great option for those on a budget.  
  • No Need to Change Aligners Frequently: 
    • Since traditional braces are designed to remain in your mouth, you can avoid the constant need to change aligners. 

Which is the better orthodontic treatment option?

Crowded teeth, overbites, gapped teeth, and open bites are some of the many orthodontic issues that can be fixed using braces. Traditional braces do a great job of realigning your teeth and resolving complex issues, and they cost less than clear aligners like Invisalign®. Though, if you’re worried about the appearance of metal braces, your comfort, risks to your teeth or gums, or the time in which the braces will take to resolve your issue, clear aligners might be a great option for you. Anyone considering traditional braces or clear aligners should book a consultation with Trail West Family Dentistry to determine the best option. We’ll develop a treatment plan perfectly aligned with your goals and needs. 

Solutions at Trail West Family Dentistry 

At Trail West Family Dentistry, our dentists and compassionate, caring team will help you find solutions that are right for you. Whether it’s traditional braces or clear aligners, we’ll help you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Schedule an appointment at our Greenville, SC office today and discover a treatment plan built for your unique needs.