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The challenges of wearing metal braces

People who don’t like uncomfortable and ugly traditional dental braces will love Invisalign

Close-up of teen girl's mouth showing she is wearing metal bracesPeople of all ages tend to avoid getting dental braces for a wide variety of reasons. Most people don’t want to feel or be seen with brackets, wires, or bands on their teeth. While these factor into a person’s general comfort, did you know that there are medical reasons to avoid traditional metal braces as well?

Periodontic Health

Traditional dental brace care can be a hassle. Brushing and flossing are both key components of maintaining your periodontic or gum health, but braces make these practices more difficult. Metal braces partially impede the route to your teeth and gums. As a result, you become more susceptible to plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, and tooth decay. Many people already have trouble flossing without braces, and they’ll have even more difficulties threading floss or using proper flossing techniques with metal braces on. This can lead to an overall lower level of dental hygiene which can lead to tooth and gum health issues.

Injury and Discomfort

Not only can braces be restrictive for cleaning, but they also add uncomfortable bulk between the teeth and the cheek. Brackets and brace wires can cause irritation, mouth sores, and small injuries. While irritation can be somewhat alleviated with dental wax, accidents can and will happen. Allowing an issue to persist not only adds to your temporary discomfort, but may also lengthen your overall treatment unhappy girl wearing metal braces and holding an apple she can't eatduration. For example, something outside your control may cause part of your braces to pop loose. Many a brace-wearer can tell the story of eating a casual lunch, and being interrupted by a sudden loose wire resulting in the need to schedule an urgent dentist appointment to fix it.

Eating Habits

Speaking of eating, traditional metal braces limit your food options as well. To maintain the integrity of the braces, you need to avoid eating things that are too hard or sticky. As a result, many foods that negatively affect metal braces have to be skipped over on the menu. The extra attention and care required to eat some common, healthful foods like crisp apples or carrots may even contribute to a poorly-balanced diet. Even allowed foods can end up being hard to deal with when wearing metal braces. Would you keep ordering something if you knew it got stuck in your braces every time?

A better braces experience with Invisalign

So what alternatives do you have for metal braces? At our dental practice, we regularly provide assessments for Invisalign – a custom-made series of clear, removable aligner trays. Invisalign works by gradually shifting your teeth until treatment is complete. Since the trays are removable, your brushing, flossing, and eating habits don’t need to change. As an added benefit, you’ll avoid the discomfort of metal Woman wearing orthodontic silicone trainer. Invisalign bracesbrackets and remove any insecurities you may have associated with being seen wearing those traditional grill-like metal dental braces.

When considering Invisalign, patients will sometimes ask about other alternatives such as veneers or similar treatments. Since the purpose of these treatments is to cover up dental imperfections, they won’t correct the same problems that dental braces do. They don’t straighten teeth or treat cases of spacing, crowding, crossbite, overbite, or underbite. Most importantly, straightening teeth and addressing jaw discrepancies increase the likelihood of improved oral health and prevention of other health problems.

For more information about Invisalign and how it can help you, give us a call!

Written by Dr. Jesus Medina Jr., DDS

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