Straight teeth aren’t just attractive. Though you might not realize it, they’re actually important for your health. That’s why dentists put so much attention on making sure your teeth are properly aligned—that’s how nature intended them and when they’re straight, they prevent a lot of other problems from cropping up.
Straight teeth are easier for to brush and floss, meaning they’re easier to keep clean. Additionally, when your teet are correctly aligned, the forces and stresses on your teeth are correctly placed, meaning there is less wear and tear on your teeth, less erosion, fewer fractures and less gum damage or disease.
There two basic ways to straighten your teeth: metal braces and clear plastic aligners such as Invisalign. Both of these gradually move your teeth into the correct positions, but they’re made very differently. However, before we get into the differences, let’s look at a little history.
Did You Think Braces Were a Recent Development?
The desire for beautiful, perfectly-aligned teeth goes back thousands of years. As far back as ancient Egypt, there were methods of using tiny straps made from animal material to urge the teeth into their proper locations. In Roman times, one early dentist advocated moving your teeth into a better position through sustained finger pressure—which would be fine as long as you had nothing better to do than push on your teeth.
Orthodontics, the dental specialty of straightening teeth, really came into its own as a science in the early 1800s, when wires were first used to move teeth. And by the end of the 1800s, wire was combined with rubber bands to approximate the braces of the 20th century. Braces continued to be the only option for teeth straightening until nearly the end of the century.
In the late 1990s, a new option was introduced: Invisalign. While they don’t serve exactly the same function as braces, these clear aligners offer a great advance over previous technology in a number of ways.
The Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign is truly a great improvement over earlier methods of aligning teeth. First and most obvious is the fact that you don’t have to live for a couple of years with metal in your mouth. There’s a comfort factor to not having metal braces that can irritate the inside of your mouth or your gums. And you don’t have to give up crunchy or chewy foods like French bread, pretzels, popcorn or apples.
Also, you can remove clear aligners whenever needed. That means you can clean your teeth properly at home and your dentist can clean your teeth thoroughly in the office. Invisalign aligners usually do the job in less time, as well.
The fact that there is a nearly invisible solution to straightening teeth really has one major benefit: more people are willing to do it. Because they don’t have to worry about their appearance or how it will affect their day-to-day life, more people are getting the help they need.
And this means that Invisalign is making people healthier.
More and more adults are choosing orthodontic treatment these days. Maybe they never had orthodontic treatment when they were young or they learn that they have undiagnosed alignment problems affecting their bite or jaw alignment. Earaches, headaches, jaw pain, neck pain and back pain all can stem from having improperly aligned teeth.
With Invisalign, all of these problems are solved in a pain-free, simple and nonintrusive way. In fact, many people can’t even tell when a patient is wearing Invisalign.
Come into our office and find out if you’re a candidate for Invisalign treatment. If you’re a new patient, please schedule a Free Dental Consultation by calling (301) 377-2186 . We treat patients from all over the Washington, D.C. area.
We’re dedicated to helping our patients maintain perfect dental and oral health their whole lives and we’d love to help you, too.