Braces and clear aligners are two popular teeth straightening techniques. Clear aligners, also called invisible aligners, are a virtually invisible and removable alternative to braces designed around convenience and flexibility.
Clear aligners straighten teeth discreetly and conveniently. The trays are custom-made and come in two forms: at-home and in-office.
Here are the most popular brands of aligners and how they differ:
- Invisalign — most popular in-office option. Suitable for mild to severe teeth alignment issues.
- ClearCorrect — another popular in-office option. Suitable for mild to moderate teeth alignment issues.
- Byte — a completely remote aligner brand with quick treatment times. Suitable for mild teeth alignment issues.
- Candid — a hybrid option with some of the convenience of at-home teeth straightening. Suitable for mild to moderate teeth alignment issues.
- NewSmile and ALIGNERCO — two affordable remote aligner brands. Suitable for some mild teeth alignment issues.
- SmileDirectClub — the first-ever remote aligner company. Suitable for mild teeth alignment issues.
There are three main types of braces:
1. Traditional braces
Traditional braces consist of metal brackets and wires. The brackets attach to teeth, and the wires connect to the brackets. This gently applies pressure to the teeth, pulling them into the correct positions.
2. Lingual braces
Lingual braces attach to the back of teeth, making them more discreet. However, they can cause temporary lisps and speech problems at the beginning of treatment.
3. Ceramic braces
Ceramic braces consist of tooth-colored brackets, which blend in well with natural teeth. But they are more expensive and tend to break easier than traditional braces. This is because they are made of plastic, which is less stable than metal.
What is Malocclusion (Teeth Misalignment)?
Malocclusion refers to the misalignment of teeth. It is commonly passed down through genetics. However, lifestyle factors can also cause teeth alignment issues.
Common types of malocclusion include:
- Crowded teeth — the teeth overlap each other
- Overbites — the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth
- Underbites — the lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth
- Diastema — small or large gaps between the teeth
- Open bites — the front upper and lower teeth slant outward and do not touch when the mouth is closed
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