In the past, patients who needed dental corrections didn’t have many options available besides traditional braces. While traditional braces can be a great fit for many, you may be looking for a less visible option. In that case, you may want to consider either ceramic braces or Invisalign. M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics has locations in Inlet Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, and Destin, FL. We’d be happy to help you make the right call.
Are Ceramic Braces Faster Than Invisalign?
Regardless of whether you’re wearing ceramic braces or Invisalign, your timeline may be adjusted slightly to make sure you get the results you’re looking for. In general, braces tend to be worn for 12 to 24 months. Invisalign treatments usually take 18 months or less. Other factors, such as how consistently the patient wears their aligners, can change the treatment time.
Some patients are able to “combine forces” by starting off their treatment with braces and finishing it with Invisalign. This could be a good option for some, and we can discuss this with you after we assess your dental condition and your expectations.
Both treatments are effective, and we’re pleased to offer both options. The right fit for you depends on the kind of dental corrections you’re looking for, your timeline, and your preferences. Both ceramic braces and Invisalign have the benefit of being less noticeable in person and in pictures.
What Are the Benefits of Ceramic Braces?
The clear brackets allow your teeth to show through when you smile. This helps clear braces be less noticeable than metal braces, and also gives them a modern appearance.
Since adults are less likely to see their peers with braces when compared to kids, having braces that are designed for adults can help patients feel more confident at work and in their personal lives. For adults who don’t want metal covering their teeth, clear brackets can help them feel less anxious about correcting their smile.
Always at Work
Braces have the benefit of always being exactly where they should be; you can’t misplace them. If you have a hectic life, accidentally misplacing your Invisalign aligners can be upsetting. You don’t want the aligners to get lost or damaged, as this could set back your treatment schedule.
Aligners should be worn for at least 20 hours each day, so consistency is important. While this isn’t a problem for some patients, others may not want to worry about losing their aligners and may want to opt for braces instead.
Ceramic braces still use the same corrective approach that braces do. They can handle mild to severe corrections while offering a more sleek, discreet, and modern appearance.
When teeth aren’t aligned properly it can cause them to wear down enamel too quickly, or wear down unevenly. This can set you up for worse dental issues down the road. Enamel is the protective layer that helps keep your teeth safe from decay and disease, so wearing it down any faster than necessary should be avoided. In addition, teeth being worn down in an uneven way can lead to the misalignment actually getting worse over time.
Headaches, muscle strain around the neck, and jaw pain can be signs of misaligned teeth that are often missed by patients. Fixing alignment can help your teeth, your jaw, and your future health as well.
Overcrowded teeth can cause teeth to overlap, be uncomfortable, and often make brushing and flossing more difficult. Correcting this concern can improve both the comfort and appearance of your teeth.
Some gaps don’t cause any dental issues. For instance, a gap between the front teeth is common and not always a cause for any concern. However, some patients find that the gaps in their teeth are impacting their speech, ability to eat some foods, or make cleaning more difficult. Others simply want to reduce their dental gaps due to an aesthetic preference.
Braces are an effective option if you want to gently guide your teeth a bit closer and reduce dental gaps.
How Should I Take Care of My Braces?
We would be happy to give you more specific instructions on how to care for braces in person, but there is some general advice you can keep in mind ahead of time. First off, taking good care of your braces means taking good care of your teeth. Plaque and tartar can affect the appearance and functionality of your braces, so it’s important to make sure you are brushing consistently, and flossing as well.
Using the right technique as you brush is important too. If you’re in the habit of brushing too hard, you could actually damage your tooth enamel or risk hurting your gums. Brushing your teeth gently for about two minutes twice a day is the way to go.
Keep Your Appointments
We know going to the dentist isn’t something most people would consider fun, but it’s important to keep your follow-up appointments whenever possible. We’ll be able to check over your braces to make sure they’re working correctly, and fix any problems that could impact your results. This is one of the best ways to keep your treatment on track.
Try to avoid mindlessly chewing hard items like pens or pencils. Not only could this risk damaging your braces and setting you back, but these items could put your oral health at risk if the pen or pencil splinters and pierces your gums.
What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?
Other than the clear appearance, one of Invisalign’s most popular benefits is that you can remove them. We mentioned before that you have to be mindful not to misplace the aligners once they’re removed, but on the other hand it can be extremely convenient for patients to remove the aligners so they can brush and floss the same way they always have.
Being able to remove your aligners also means you won’t have to change your diet. You don’t have to be concerned about damaging brackets or getting food stuck in any wires, because Invisalign doesn’t have any brackets or wires. You’ll simply take the aligners out, clean your teeth, and put them right back in as soon as you’re done with your meal.
Cutting-edge imaging technology is used to customize your Invisalign experience. As you progress through your treatment program, each set of aligners will carefully nudge your teeth into position. Each set is customized for you to allow for a comfortable fit, so every step of the process is highly personalized.
Both in person and in pictures, it’s almost impossible to tell when you wear Invisalign. These aligners are made of smooth, clear plastic. They’re designed for your teeth, so they slide right on and you can see your teeth through them.
There are many patients who don’t want to look back at their pictures and see braces, especially if they have an important event coming up. Invisalign allows you to avoid braces for these big events without having to put your treatment on hold.
There are no hard corners, rough edges, or even wires to speak of. For patients with sensitive mouths or gums, the smooth material of these aligners can help them adjust to their treatment very quickly.
If you or your teenager enjoys active hobbies or playing sports, you may be a little nervous about getting braces. The good news is there are mouth-guards designed to protect braces during physical activities. However, opting for Invisalign can also be a great option. These aligners are durable and smooth, making them a great fit for active lifestyles.
It’s certainly possible to get braces if you have crowns or other similar dental work. Special care can be taken to make sure the crowns aren’t damaged while your teeth are corrected. That said, clear aligners are a simple and easy alternative. Since they fit right over your teeth, you don’t have to worry about wearing them with crowns.
Patients with Invisalign usually come in for an appointment every 10 to 12 weeks. When they’re worn correctly and consistently, Invisalign can help reduce the length of your dental appointment when we check your progress. In fact, if all is going well, we may be able to reduce the total number of necessary appointments.
It is very unusual to develop white spot decalcification with Invisalign. Of course it’s always important to regularly and thoroughly clean your teeth to reduce harmful plaque and bacteria, but Invisalign can help make that process just a bit easier.
We Can Give You Personalized Advice
A consultation is one of the best ways we can evaluate the needs of our patients and give them advice accordingly. Contact us at M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics of Inlet Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, and Destin, FL, today to learn more about your treatment options!