In the not-so-distant past, if you wanted straighter teeth, you were met with limited options. We had braces, implants, and veneers, each with their own set of pros and cons, but now we have one more viable option: clear-aligner treatment.

What is Invisalign?

Clear aligners are plastic trays custom-made for your mouth designed to help straighten your teeth. You would get multiple trays during a set period of time, with each tray molded to gradually move your teeth closer to the desired placement.

These new orthodontic devices have been made popular recently due to the rise in popularity of companies like Invisalign, ClearCorrect, and Inman Aligner.

What’s the benefit of using clear aligners?

People often prefer the appearance of clear aligners to clunky braces on their teeth. Additionally, unlike braces, you can remove these clear plastic aligners to eat and drink as you normally would. Because of this, many people prefer aligners since braces restrict the kinds of food you can consume.

The clean-up process is also much easier with trays, and you can continue to stay on your normal hygiene schedule with flossing and brushing. While you cannot eat or drink anything else besides water while wearing the aligners (because you might damage the integrity of the trays), the major benefit is that you can eat whatever you want once you remove the aligners. Braces, meanwhile, limit the foods you can eat and cannot be removed from your teeth until the end of the braces alignment program.

However, you cannot leave the trays on for longer than the recommended amount of time. Depending on your customized plan, most will suggest that you wear the aligners for 22 hours of the day.

Are there downsides to using aligners?

One must be aware of the potential pain and discomfort because any orthodontic device you have to wear for straightening your teeth is not going to be comfortable. For braces, many people say that the worse time is when it’s time to get them tightened, which occurs about once a month. For aligners, a new tray may cause discomfort for the first couple of days but then that usually goes away.

While the pain will subside after a few days of wearing them, some people might still prefer braces, as you cannot remove them yourself and you can still eat (from a limited menu, of course) while still wearing them.

Which teeth straightening treatment is best for me?

Your dentist will be the best place to get more information about the recommended path for you. They will discuss the pros and cons in more detail, so that you can make the choice that best fits your lifestyle and budget.

Dr. Stephen Coates and his experienced dental staff have helped numerous families and individuals in and around the Long Beach, CA area with their dental care for decades, and offer Invisalign treatment for those who want a better smile.

Let us help you, too. Book your appointment using our online system, or give us a call at 562-434-6414.