Everyone wants to have a great smile. There’s something about the impression you get when you meet someone for the first time and they have a nice, healthy smile with straight and beautiful teeth. Unfortunately for the majority of us, frequently our teeth don’t come in exactly as straight as we would like. Fortunately, we do have options.
Braces come in different styles. The first style—and probably what you thought of when you saw the word “braces”—is the traditional set of braces composed of metal brackets adhered to a wire running around the mouth. These can be uncomfortable and unsightly and require the wearer to modify his or her diet, as some foods will stick to the braces and cause other problems. Traditional braces are notorious for their tendency to irritate the gums and other soft tissues in the mouth. They have many nooks and crevices which have a tendency to rub against the cheek and cause lacerations.
Metal braces can take a significant amount of time to do their job and—at least in the case of adults—most people prefer not to get them if possible.
Many people prefer to go with an Invisalign or other similar system. These types of braces are clear plastic trays that sit over the teeth. They are virtually invisible when worn and, because they may be removed, the wearer is still free to enjoy his or her favorite foods without being concerned that they may become stuck in the braces. As the teeth gradually straighten, old trays are switched out for new ones until the teeth are in the desired position.
Another advantage of these types of braces is that they are smooth and, as such, are easier on the soft tissues inside the mouth. They are easier to keep clean because they may be removed for cleaning. Finally, they tend to work faster than traditional braces, meaning that patients can achieve their desired smile in a shorter amount of time.
Talk with your dentist to see which option is best for you.