Ideal if you’re after a killer straight smile 

A smile is one of the first things people notice about us. Dazzling or derelict, it’s one of the key contributors to that all-important first impression, and increasingly, people are paying good money to make it count. This is why so many people covet the widest, whitest smile and because of this, braces are becoming increasingly popular with adults. Indeed, a recent report from the British Orthodontic Society found an 80% increase in adult patients (up from 75% in 2016) getting orthodontic treatment.

But how do you find one which fits both your mouth and lifestyle? We’re asking the big questions today; here’s how to choose the right tooth aligner for you, IDEAL if you’re after a killer straight smile.

THE EXPENSE 

First things first, straight teeth don’t come cheap; fees for private orthodontic treatment are usually around £2,500. They can, however, be much higher if you’re after any extras.

That said, there are lots of different companies that provide teeth aligners, which means that the cost can vary widely between different providers and even from one orthodontist to another. The price varies depending on how much work your teeth need.

If the fee is too much for you to manage in one go, companies like Straight My Teeth allow you to pay in instalments so you get the aligners you need, all with a favourable payment plan. 

METAL, CERAMIC OR CLEAR?

Ceramic braces and clear aligners are often favoured by adult patients because they are less noticeable than metal. Ceramic braces are made from translucent materials and are pretty discrete while clear aligners are thin clear flexible plastic ‘mouthguards’ which fit closely over the teeth and are more or less invisible. Metal aligners, simply put, are more noticeable.

That said, metal braces and ceramic braces tend to be more effective at adjusting teeth, and since they are attached to your teeth – you don’t have to worry about losing or misplacing them. However, if discretion is your priority, clear teeth aligners are best, with many wearers reporting that they’re barely noticeable to the naked eye.

ORTHODONTIST VISITS 

It can be difficult for busy people to find the time to visit their orthodontist. If this sounds like you, then you need a tooth alignment option that does not require too many visits to the orthodontist. The standard timeline of teeth alignment involves a first meeting with an orthodontist, where they take a number of x-rays of your mouth and head and do a full oral exam. Once that is done, they will come up with a treatment plan.

The orthodontist will then give you a choice between traditional braces and aligners. For traditional braces, you’ll be required to visit the orthodontist every four to six weeks. In general, a user needs to wear braces for at least three years and if you are very busy, you might find the number of orthodontist visits during those three years to feel excessive.

As for aligners, you will be given a set that you need to wear for 22 hours a day. Each set must be worn for at least two weeks, and since the orthodontist already has your treatment plan, they can mail you the new sets when you need them. This reduces the number of visits you need to make to the orthodontist. For those with work and family commitments which seem to eat up all their hours, aligners might be a better bet.

COMFORT CONSIDERATIONS 

The comfort of your braces or aligner is of paramount importance and will determine how happy the wearer is with the solution they choose. In general terms, braces offer a little more discomfort and require more upkeep than aligners. This is largely because they are harder to clean than clear aligners. Though you can remove aligners to clean your teeth and then replace them,  you cannot do the same with metal braces, which makes cleaning teeth harder. What’s more, food tends to get stuck on and in braces, which can be an inconvenience.

One thing to note is that no matter the teeth alignment solution you go with, there will be some discomfort as your teeth realign. 

ORAL HEALTH

Braces may have a higher impact on oral health than aligners because of the potential for food to get stuck in braces and the increased difficulty of cleaning and flossing associated with wearing them. As for aligners, you can remove them, clean your teeth, clean them separately and put them back on. This level of hygiene may well lead to better oral health outcomes.

SEE THE FINAL RESULTS

Another good way of choosing the right teeth aligners is to see the results for yourself. Orthodontists should provide a portfolio with before and after pictures of their patients, which will shed light on the various results of different teeth alignment solutions.