All About Braces and Aligners


All About Braces and Aligners

Most people are aware that braces can fix uneven, crowded or crooked teeth. However, they can do more than that. Malocclusion, meaning bad bite, is the primary reasons for braces, and bad bites are not always due to crooked or crowded teeth. Misaligned jaws can be the reason for a bad bite even when teeth are straight. Braces can help in this situation.

Braces not only can make a smile prettier, but they also help your overall oral health. According to, the following can result from a bad bite:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth loss
  • Affected speech and/or chewing
  • Abnormal wear to tooth enamel
  • Jaw problems

These can be lifelong problems, so it’s best to address the issue as early as possible. While braces for teeth are the most common form of fixing a bite and straightening teeth, there are other methods as well.


Types of Braces and Alignment Devices

Talking with your family dentist or a cosmetic dentist can help figure out what procedure is best for you or your child when it comes to straightening teeth. Here are some of the most common methods:

Braces – Braces align the teeth with pressure. Small brackets and wire are adjusted by the orthodontist to create the desired effect. There are some options, like metal or clear braces, and sometimes professionals can even put the brackets behind the teeth to make them less visible. Usually, braces are worn for anywhere from one to three years.


Retainers – Retainers are worn after braces are removed, but if there is only minimal correction to be made, sometimes people can wear retainers instead of braces. They are less expensive and can be taken out. However, they do not correct as much as braces will do. It is important for anyone who has had braces to continue with a retainer after the braces are removed to keep their teeth in place.


Clear Aligners – Invisalign is the most common brand of aligners, and this is a progressive method where you start with one set of clear aligners (trays that fit over your teeth and adjust them) and move through a series of trays until the desired effect is achieved. Issues like spaces work well with aligners because they can be fixed with less pressure than other problems within the mouth. Many adults prefer aligners to braces as they are less noticeable and can be taken out, though they do need to be worn for the majority of the day.

Some things to consider when choosing what method to use are things like:

  • Issues within the mouth (how severe is crowding, crookedness or misalignment)
  • Financial cost
  • Length of time for the procedure
  • Invasiveness of method

Many times there is a clear-cut choice, but often, especially with adults who may want to adjust a previously modified smile, there are some choices to make. Speak to your dental professional or please contact us at Watkin Dental Associates to help you decide. We’d love to help you attain the perfect smile