This page was published on May 13, 2020, modified on Nov 19, 2020 by Farzin Farokhzadeh, DDS (Dentist of 505 Dental Associates)

Which are the Best Teeth Straightening Solutions for Adults?

Adult orthodontics is an increasingly popular treatment, and millions of adults could do with wearing braces and who are embarrassed or self-conscious of their smiles. Nowadays, modern orthodontic treatment is quite different, so if you are considering adult braces, there is bound to be a solution that will fit easily into your lifestyle. One option is to have conventional metal braces, but there are other choices which include invisible or clear braces like Invisalign® or Damon braces, and Six Months Smiles.

Damon Braces®

Damon braces® are clear braces that use ceramic brackets instead of metal brackets and are cemented onto tooth surfaces.

Damon braces® are clear braces that use ceramic brackets

They are a fixed braces system, which means Damon braces® are suitable for correcting quite complex orthodontic issues and where precise tooth movements are critical. The transparent ceramic brackets used with Damon braces® are quite different from conventional metal brackets in that they are self-ligating. This means the braces don’t need highly visible elastic bands to power the archwires connected to the brackets. Instead, the brackets have a unique sliding device that is the self-ligating part, and which means the arch-wire moves with the teeth as they are gradually straightening.

Damon braces® are a good option if you have problems with severe tooth overcrowding. Because the brackets are smoother, these braces are much more comfortable to wear compared with conventional brackets. Generally, Damon braces® can correct problems with tooth alignment relatively quickly and require fewer office visits compared with conventional braces because they aren’t tightened manually.

However, every system has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s worth bearing in mind that the ceramic brackets are more delicate compared with metal brackets. Also, sometimes treatment could be more prolonged because lighter forces are used to move teeth.

Invisalign®

Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® braces are incredibly well-known, and instead of fixed braces consist of sets of removable aligners made from smooth BPA free plastic. The aligners are specially designed and made to gradually move teeth into the correct positions, fitting tightly but comfortably over the teeth and applying gentle forces to reposition them.

Invisalign Before After

The system is popular because it is super easy to use as each set of aligners is worn for two weeks, and users must wear them for at least 22 hours daily. Every two weeks, the aligners are discarded, and the user moves on to the next set in the series. The number of sets required depends on the orthodontic problems needing correction. Some people may only need a few sets of aligners when they only have issues affecting their front teeth and which are relatively cosmetically oriented. Others with more complex orthodontic problems will need to wear their aligners for longer. Most people complete treatment within a year, but you won’t know for sure until your Invisalign® dentist examines your teeth.

Because the aligners are removed whenever you want to eat or drink something, there is no need to change your diet. With fixed braces, it is necessary to avoid sticky or very hard foods that could damage the brackets, potentially breaking them and delaying your treatment. As you can take out the aligners, it’s easy to care for your teeth, and they can be brushed and flossed normally. With fixed braces, it’s often necessary to spend a little extra time cleaning around the brackets and wires to maintain good oral hygiene during treatment.

However, even though Invisalign® is an excellent system, it’s not entirely invisible. Although the aligners are very discreet, they are quite shiny, and the shininess can mean you have a halo effect around your teeth. Also, it can take a while to get used to wearing them, and initially, they may affect your speech. Invisalign® is a system that requires excellent compliance as you must make sure you wear the aligners all the time, ideally, only removing them for meals and oral care. If there is a chance you could forget to wear your aligners, you might be better off choosing conventional braces with brackets fixed in place permanently for the duration of treatment. That way, you can be sure they are working 24/7 to reposition your teeth, and that treatment will be a success.

Six Month Smiles®

Unlike Damon braces and Invisalign®, Six Month Smiles® is a cosmetically oriented braces system. What this means is that the braces only focus on moving teeth that are visible when you smile.

Six Month Smile | before & after

The braces are not designed to correct more complex problems affecting your bite. Because the system is cosmetically oriented, it achieves results very quickly, with the average treatment time taking just six months. The brace brackets are clear and are bonded onto your teeth and are powered by very thin tooth-colored wires, so the overall effect is very discreet.

Because treatment is so quick to complete, the overall cost is less expensive, so it’s a much more affordable option than other orthodontic treatments. Just like Damon braces and Invisalign®, it provides a predictable treatment outcome.

Deciding between Fixed and Removable Braces

Initially, when given a choice, most people will opt for removable braces, but it’s best to be guided by your orthodontist’s advice. Sometimes opting for fixed braces can provide a more predictable treatment outcome and ultimately much better results.

Fixed braces can produce fantastic results when correcting more complex orthodontic problems, allowing the orthodontist to plan tooth movements very precisely, giving the patient a more cosmetically perfect smile. However, there’s no denying that removable braces are very easy to use and can also provide excellent results in the right situations.

Listen carefully to what your orthodontist has to say about each possible option and consider how you will care for your braces during treatment. With fixed braces, you will need to spend more time on your oral care routine each day, and you will most likely need to use different tools to clean around the brackets and wires. With removable aligners, there are no such issues and no need to buy anything different to clean your teeth.

However, if your orthodontist recommends fixed braces, then it’s worth spending that extra time on your brushing and flossing routine because the treatment outcome could be so much better, and with the right after-care could last for life.