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Wearing orthodontic braces brings challenges to daily life. During treatment a patient will need to avoid certain foods and habits, take more time to brush and floss properly, and may endure occasional discomfort. But the effect of metal braces on appearance can be especially difficult, especially for peer-conscious teens.

Clear aligners, though, offer an alternative to braces that could make some of these challenges easier, particularly with your appearance. Aligners are clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth to move them. They can be removed by the wearer for easier brushing and flossing or for special occasions. Best of all, they're much less noticeable than metal braces.

Clear aligners were developed thanks to advances in digital technology. An orthodontist uses a computer application incorporating the data from photographs, x-rays or CT scans of a patient's teeth and jaws to produce a series of clear plastic trays. The patient then wears each tray for about two weeks before changing to the next tray in the sequence.

The trays apply pressure much like metal braces to gradually move teeth to the desired position on the jaw. Each tray is slightly smaller in size than the previous tray in the sequence, so that the progression of tooth movement continues with each succeeding tray. The treatment time is about the same as with conventional braces.

This new orthodontic tool works well for many common bite problems, but until recently they've been limited in scope. But new designs in trays and attachments called buttons added to teeth to provide more leverage have greatly increased their use for more complex bite issues.

Clear aligners also have one other disadvantage, ironically due to one of their principal benefits, removability. Although they can be taken out, they must be worn consistently to achieve results. Some younger patients may not have the maturity level and discipline to responsibly wear their aligners as they should.

That's one issue you'll need to discuss with your orthodontist if you're considering clear aligners for your teen. But if they can maintain wearing consistency, and they have a bite problem that can be corrected with aligners, both you and your teen may find this choice more agreeable and attractive than braces.

If you would like more information on clear aligners, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Clear Aligners for Teens.”

By Sudbury Family Dental Care
August 14, 2018

According to a Harris poll, 75 percent of Americans who have had their teeth straightened believe it made a positive impact on their lives. orthodontic treatmentStill, some patients hesitate to have their teeth treated with orthodontics because they’re worried about how the braces will make them look during the treatment. But there is more than one type of orthodontic solution available. Visit your dentists at Sudbury Family Dental Care in Sudbury, MA, Dr. Maria Elizondo Marinescu, Dr. Sorin Marinescu and their associates, to see which option will do the best job of straightening and improving your smile.

Metal Braces (The Traditional Option)
In some cases, it is inevitable that you will have to wear metal braces in order to get the smile that you want. Some orthodontic problems are more advanced than others and require this traditional treatment. It is common for children. Metal brackets must be securely cemented to the front of the teeth so that they will support tension wires and bands. Though it can be a less than comfortable experience for patients, metal braces are very effective.

Ceramic or Lingual Braces
Patients who must wear braces with brackets but still want a level of discretion during their orthodontics treatment may decide to opt for ceramic or lingual braces. Ceramic braces are closer in color to your teeth and lingual braces are hidden from view (applied behind the teeth). Ask your Sudbury, MA dentist if one of these options will be the best for straightening your teeth.

Clear Aligners
If you are reluctant to wear any type of metal or clunky appliance for braces (and you are a good candidate) consider clear aligner trays. They give you the freedom to smile and talk confidently around your peers. You also have the freedom to remove the appliances (clear plastic trays) whenever you need to, whether it is to brush, floss, or enjoy a full course meal. Aligners are ideal for older teens and adults.

Which Option Is Best for You?
Orthodontic treatment can improve your smile both cosmetically and functionally. Your dentists at Sudbury Family Dental Care in Sudbury, MA, Dr. Maria Elizondo Marinescu, Dr. Sorin Marinescu, and their associates, are committed to helping you achieve the better-aligned teeth you’ve wanted for years. Call (978) 443-5193 today to schedule an appointment.