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Alternatives to Traditional Braces

A beautiful smile can boost your mood, increase your confidence and self-esteem, and impact your success. Not everyone is born with perfectly straight teeth. Many adults want straighter teeth but are embarrassed to go to an orthodontist for traditional metal braces. There have been great advancements in recent years, and there are more options than ever before to straighten your teeth. This article aims to give you information about other alternatives to braces.

Yes, braces straighten your teeth and give you a beautiful smile, but the benefits don’t stop there. Taking care of your orthodontic health has a positive impact on taking care of your overall health. If you have trouble with crooked teeth, you have a higher chance of tooth decay due to periodontal disease. The reason for this increased risk is that when teeth are not aligned, they leave spaces that allow food to collect. With poor dental hygiene, this could result in bacteria multiplying and causing serious infections, resulting in conditions such as gingivitis or cavities. Getting braces to straighten your teeth can help you close up the spaces and inevitably save you from a potentially severe case of gum disease and other related infections.

Cosmetic dentistry has evolved over the years and has become effective in fixing the most common to the most complex types of dental problems. For people who have inherited problems such as overcrowded teeth, getting braces is a beneficial solution to avoid brushing and adequate flossing challenges. Although there are alternatives to braces, other hereditary issues, like malocclusions and protruding upper teeth, require quality braces to remedy. When your teeth are not aligned properly, they can affect other areas of your life, such as digestion. However, when you see your dentist or get referred to an orthodontist, they can recommend getting braces to rectify your teeth and minimize any potential risk. Additionally, poor dental health can have impending effects on your speech. If the misalignment or malocclusion of your teeth is severe, it could lead to bigger articulation issues, so getting your braces is not only preventative dental care but can improve your health and act as an effective solution to enhance your speech.

The following are some alternatives to braces that provide various progressive and innovative dental solutions.

Invisalign

It has been estimated that more than 9 million people have used Invisalign clear aligners. Orthodontic practices use this revolutionary approach to fixing and straightening teeth by incorporating custom-made aligners made from smooth, almost invisible plastic.

The benefits of using Invisalign aligners are that they do not have any metal brackets or wires, so they provide gradual and gentle shifting of your teeth in place, according to the results you and your orthodontist are aiming to achieve. The process is fairly simple and requires you to receive a new set of aligners every two weeks until you complete your treatment. However, because this is one of several alternatives to braces, there are different methods to maintain them for optimum performance. For example, you will have to take them out every time you eat or drink a liquid other than water, and you have to brush your teeth after every meal before putting them back on to avoid staining. To ensure that they straighten your teeth adequately, you need to wear them for a minimum of 22 hours each day.

Once you have completed your Invisalign treatment, it is highly recommended to use retainers to maintain your new alignment. However, the fact that they are not conventional braces means that they can not be used to fix severe damage to your teeth or hereditary dental issues such as malocclusions or an excessive overbite. For more information about options available for the treatment of your dental condition, the services of a professional dentist or orthodontist are required.

Lingual Braces

If you are having trouble deciding on getting braces because you do not like the look of the conventional ones, then lingual braces could be the answer to your dental problems. These braces have the same components as conventional braces, such as metal brackets and wires, but their advantage is that they are nearly invisible to an unknowing eye because they are fixed on the back side of your teeth. The process of getting lingual braces can take up to six weeks. It involves your Orthodontist taking an impression of your teeth, which are sent to a dental laboratory to create customized brackets. The brackets are then cemented on the back surfaces of your teeth. Not everyone can get lingual braces because of where they are situated. The treatment is not recommended for people with extreme cases of an overbite, because they can be risky to maintain.

The drawback to getting any type of braces is the costs associated with them, which depend on factors like the length of your treatment and your dental health care coverage. Even though you are susceptible to temporary speech impediments with any other alternatives to braces, with lingual braces you may experience more delayed speech problems such as a lisp that may require certain speech therapy techniques. To take care of your lingual braces you may need to use wax against your lower teeth to prevent your tongue from getting tender and sore, alongside professional dental cleanings every six months and a daily oral hygiene routine.

Ceramic Braces

There is a growing trend of people who are opting for ceramic braces, which are made of hypoallergenic stainless steel material. If you are looking for braces for adults, then this could be the right option for you. These braces are ideal if you are trying to align your teeth with something that is less noticeable and won’t make you as self-conscious as traditional braces. The process for getting these braces involves the use of small square brackets that are cemented to your teeth and designed to blend in with your teeth to minimize visibility. You are required to apply constant pressure to your teeth over a period not exceeding 24 months to ensure that they remain effective in aligning your teeth. These types of braces are not only lauded for their discreet design, but they have other benefits such as better comfort than other alternatives to braces, and they are more stain-resistant because of the clear or white brackets.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are not only other alternatives to braces, but they are also an alternative to getting a dental implant. Veneers are commonly made from porcelain or resin composite materials and can be permanently bonded and attached to the tooth surface for an improved appearance. While some people prefer to get only one veneer in their lifetime to fix a broken or slightly chipped tooth, others prefer to get several to attain a more symmetrical smile. Every veneer is designed to meet each individual’s dental needs. To complete the process you may require two separate visits to your orthodontist. The first visit involves getting a small amount of your tooth enamel trimmed to create sufficient space for the veneer placement. The second step involves the dentist getting an impression of your tooth and determining its color, which is then sent to the lab. In some cases, you may get a temporary veneer while you wait for the permanent one to be bonded to your tooth. To ensure that the veneer is firmly attached to your tooth, it needs to be cured for about a minute.

Porcelain veneers require similar care to any other alternative to braces treatment to ensure that they remain effective and maintain their quality status. Regular brushing and flossing and paying special attention to the area where your teeth meet your gums are highly recommended.

Beware Mail-Order Braces

Many people are attracted to mail-order braces because of their perceived convenience and cost-effectiveness. Professionally trained dentists and Orthodontists have developed traditional orthodontic treatments. The growing demand for aesthetically pleasing teeth, paired with the need for affordable braces, has created a thriving online market for mail-order orthodontic service providers. These companies deliver other alternatives to braces, such as clear aligners, directly to your door.

You can scan your teeth to send the company an impression so that they can determine the adequate treatment solution. After going through the vetting and approval process, you will receive your new set of aligners and begin the process of fixing your misalignment. Although this may seem like a great and convenient way to straighten your teeth in the comfort of home, there are many pitfalls associated with mail-order braces. The following are some highlighted issues with mail-order braces.

 

  • No Assessment of Patients – Straightening your teeth is not an easy process. The standard treatment requires you to have medically necessary and regular checkups with your orthodontist. The medical assessments are not only beneficial for aligning your teeth, but are essential for observing other factors that contribute to reaching optimum oral health. Getting your teeth fixed at home may sound like a convenient option, however, you will not be assessed by professionals who will conduct necessary X-rays to determine the ideal treatment solution. There are also no follow-up appointments to check on your progress or any potential problems.
  • Limited Treatment Options – Most people prefer to use a professional to fix their teeth because of the personalized solutions and the variety of treatment options. Sometimes, existing preconditions such as gum disease make choosing dental treatment options complex because you have to find one that will not cause issues. Mail-order companies offer you limited to no assessments to find out if there are any preexisting conditions. This could lead to being sent braces or other alternatives to braces that could create more problems.
  • They Use Outdated Methods – Mail-order companies commonly use traditional methods to make impressions of your teeth, which can be messy and uncomfortable. This can result in patients ending up with aligners that don’t fit or impressions that are rejected. These techniques can end up creating more financial problems for you, and may increase the amount of time it normally takes to receive aligners that fit perfectly. Nowadays, many dentists and Orthodontists use advanced technological solutions to provide adequate assessments and tailor-make a treatment solution for your oral health needs.
  • It Can Cost More – You would be surprised to find out how many people end up requiring serious medical attention after mail-order braces. They may negatively affect your teeth due to the lack of a controlled and professionally conducted assessment.

 

If you are looking for ways to give yourself a better smile, braces are an effective and reliable option. If you do not have enough money to afford braces, there are other alternatives to braces that are just as useful when you want to straighten your teeth. Even though you may be tempted to fix your teeth yourself because you feel as though it may be convenient, you should be warned of the dangers of getting your teeth fixed without the supervision of a trained and experienced dental physician.

 

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