What to Know About Invisible Braces
People looking to get a smile they can be proud of often turn to braces. Getting braces is an important dental procedure that helps give people a straight smile and corrects any embarrassing gaps, uneven bites, or crooked teeth. However, many people have reservations about getting those traditional metal braces and might turn to invisible braces.
For those people looking for an alternative, invisible braces, such as Invisalign, offer a smart solution that many people prefer. Although they aim for the same result, there are some big differences between the two procedures.
What Are Invisible Braces?
As the name suggests, invisible braces are "invisible." Although they are not entirely unnoticeable, they are much more subtle than traditional braces. Instead of using metal brackets connected by metal wires, invisible braces use clear materials, such a clear brackets with attachable trays, in order to correct a smile.
Why Do People Use Invisible Braces?
Braces serve a lot of different purposes. In addition to the obvious superficial purpose of braces, correcting a smile may be a matter of health. Crooked teeth may be more vulnerable to breakages in a fall. They may also cause an uneven bite that gives constant headaches or forces a patient to grind on their teeth.
Regular braces can help with this, but there is a good reason why many people want to go invisible. Invisible braces are more subtle. Although they still can be seen if someone really looks up close, they are hardly noticeable for someone who is not familiar with the technology.
Some people are self-conscious about getting those metal braces. For years, mean names like "metal mouth" or "brace face" were common insults for some time. Although braces are not a reason many kids receive bullying anymore as it is typical for adolescents to get the treatment, many adults are uncomfortable.
Due to the association of being young, adults fear how the look of braces would impact their lives. In addition to worrying about things like bullying, many worry they will not be taken seriously anymore or will not like how they look for major events the pop up in life.
Aside from superficial reasons, some argue that the invisible braces are less painful and invasive than traditional metal braces. This argument is due to how they work.
How Do Invisible Braces Work?
After a trained dental professional assesses what needs to be done to correct your bite, you are ready to begin the procedure. After, subtle, clear anchors are attached to teeth so that the trays can be "fixed" into the mouth.
These trays are made from analyzing the molds dentists take of your mouth. There are a number of trays you receive, and a user is to change their tray every few weeks. Each tray is slightly closer to the "end goal" than the other. Trays are to be kept in the mouth for most of the day but can be taken out for meals and snacks, like a retainer.
Little by little, changing these trays makes the teeth shift slightly over the course of using the invisible braces. Some dentist's visits are made during the process to access progress and take more molds if needed.
What Are the Advantages of Invisible Braces?
There are many advantages to wearing invisible braces instead of traditional braces. As we touched upon a bit earlier, many people find them to be more attractive. This is because they are incredibly subtle compared to traditional metal brackets.
Aside from the aesthetics, they are also more convenient. Unlike traditional braces that warrant an orthodontist visit every time you are due for a tightening, changing trays are done at home. Many times, trays are delivered right to your door, and you can go months without having to make a dentist appointment.
As they are changed at home, it also implies that they are removable. Although you do need to wear them about 22 hours a day, you can take them off to enjoy food. Some people argue that this may also be a disadvantage as you need to take them off to eat where you can eat with traditional braces in.
While invisible braces are not entirely pain-free, many report them to be more comfortable than traditional metal brackets that often irritated (or even broke) the skin.
Considerations to Keep in Mind
Invisible ones tend to be seen as a more convenient option. However, there is a good reason why everyone does not get them. They require a higher level of individual responsibility, which is not always practical for children. Additionally, they are a costly investment many insurances will not cover.
Are Invisible Braces Better Than Traditional Braces?
It's a personal choice whether you want invisible or traditional braces. There are many factors you need to consider that are best left up to a conversation with your dentist or orthodontist. Depending on your age, what needs to be done, and your personal insurance, one decision may be better for you.