Whether you’re considering teeth straightening for yourself or your child, there are a few options to consider. Aligners and braces are two popular teeth straightening methods that can fix your smile and lead to better oral health. To decide which is right for you, it’s important to understand how each works and the benefits they offer. Let’s dive deeper into what aligners and braces are so you can decide which option may best fit your needs.

What are aligners?

Aligners are plastic, clear mouthpieces that are custom-made from molds of your teeth. They are designed to fit your teeth, and put slight pressure on them so that they can straighten over time. Patients typically receive a set of aligners that they can gradually use as their teeth continue to align and progress toward their desired position.

Benefits of aligners

Here are some advantages of getting aligners:

  • Virtually invisible: Since aligners are clear, they are virtually invisible. This means that people may not be able to tell you’re wearing them, unlike with braces.
  • Removable: Aligners are removable, which allows you to easily clean them. This can also make it easier to brush, floss, and eat.
  • Fewer repairs required: Aligners don’t come with any wires or brackets. This simpler structure means that they may not require as many repairs.

What are braces?

Braces are dental teeth straightening tools that come with brackets cemented to your teeth, connected by wires. With this treatment, your doctor will tighten the wires over time to help shift and straighten your teeth. These devices are a more traditional treatment used by doctors to align your teeth, correct your bite, or both.

Benefits of braces

Here are some notable benefits of braces:

  • More effective for severe cases: Braces can be used to treat all types of cases from minor to complex, like severe overcrowding. This means you can obtain straight teeth, regardless of how misaligned they were before treatment.
  • More affordable: Braces are often less expensive than aligners, making them a more affordable option for many.
  • You can’t lose them: Although braces are non-removeable, meaning you can’t brush or floss as you used to, this can still be beneficial. You won’t be able to lose your braces or forget to wear them.

Which is better for me: aligners or braces?

When choosing between aligners and braces, it’s smart to weigh the pros and cons and consider your preferences. Each option may be better suited for one person’s individual needs and wants. Aligners may be the right choice for patients that want the discreteness of nearly invisible straighteners and the convenience of being able to remove them. But for those that have more complex cases or want to save money, braces may be the right option.

Whichever route you choose to go, talk with your doctor so you can understand your options and ask any questions you may have. This can help you choose a solution that will get you the straight smile you’ve been waiting for.