When it comes to straightening teeth, there are a few approaches to consider. What works best for one person may look different from the next, depending on factors like oral health, lifestyle, age, and more. Four common ways to straighten teeth include various types of braces and their clear alternative, aligners. This is everything to know about teeth straightening options in 2022.
Traditional braces are metal braces that require brackets to be placed on the front of the teeth. From there, a wire is threaded between the brackets and can be adjusted to move the teeth. Historically, traditional braces have been the most inexpensive and commonly used teeth straightening methods, but that is rapidly changing with newer products on the market. Traditional braces may be relatively fool-proof, but they do not offer as much flexibility for those who want a relatively undetectable teeth straightener.
Here are some pros and cons of braces:
- Pro: Cost-effective
- Pro: Durable
- Con: Can be painful
- Con: Highly visible
For those that want teeth straightening to be inconspicuous at first glance, lingual braces may be a perfect fit. The way lingual braces work is essentially the same as traditional braces, except the braces are placed on the back of teeth. Rather than showing when speaking or smiling, the braces will instead be hidden behind the teeth as they continue to straighten. While this method can be great for maintaining confidence, other problems may arise, such as a lisp or tongue irritation from constant friction.
Lingual braces come with various advantages and disadvantages, including:
- Pro: Inconspicuous
- Pro: Adjustable
- Con: Can cause a lisp
- Con: Higher costs
An alternative to classic metal braces, ceramic braces work the same but are colored to match the natural color of a tooth. This helps to eliminate the sharp contrast that metal can bring to the teeth. Many people navigate toward ceramic braces, despite being slightly more expensive, as they combine two important traits: effectiveness and style. With that being said, ceramic braces are certainly not perfect. In fact, they can present a higher likelihood of staining and breaking if not properly cared for.
Here are some benefits and drawbacks of ceramic braces:
- Pro: Less visible
- Pro: Less painful than metal
- Con: Teeth-staining
- Con: Not very durable
The fourth option for straightening teeth is clear aligners. Clear aligners are a relatively new concept but have completely transformed the options for teeth straightening. Benefits of aligners include the ability to remove the aligners when eating or drinking to avoid staining and easy bendability when being worn. Clear aligners are not right for everyone but can make for a quality teeth straightening option if used as prescribed!
Here are some pros and cons of clear aligners:
- Pro: Relatively invisible
- Pro: Adaptable
- Con: Can be more expensive
- Con: Patients must adhere to the schedule
How to choose the right option
With so many options, choosing a teeth straightening option can be difficult. A qualified professional should be able to help narrow down the options right for each individual candidate, including their budget, treatment plan, wants, and needs.
Name: Michael Bertini
Job Title: Consultant
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