Traditional metal braces have a bad reputation; we all remember that one friend at school who had ‘train track’ braces and then became socially outcasted. Even as an adult or teenager, this idea can put many people off seeking treatment for misaligned teeth.
Luckily, as dentistry has advanced, so have the options for correcting misalignments that can occur. Today, there are many treatments that offer invisible or clear braces as an alternative to metal ones.
Issues that can occur with metal braces
With metal braces, many people are put off solely because of the way they look in the mouth.
However, people who have had metal braces fitted have also reported issues with hygiene, eating food and even speech; after all, having large metal devices fitted on to teeth is going to impact on the way you speak. Orthodontists will also advise against eating hard or sticky foods when wearing braces, as both can damage the metal in the brace.
Maintaining dental hygiene also becomes trickier as there are now multiple new grooves in the mouth where plaque can accumulate. This can lead to a higher incidence of tooth decay and even gum disease.
Advantages of clear braces
If you are a suitable candidate for clear or invisible braces, your dentist will talk you through the many advantages of having these fitted; they are far more than just a prettier smile!
As most brands of invisible braces or aligners are removable, they do not interfere with your everyday dental routine.
You can clean your teeth, floss and conduct other oral hygiene procedures without issue and can even identify issues that may be occurring, without having to go for a dental check-up. Similarly, it is easier for your dentist to identify issues, such as decay, with higher levels of accuracy when you choose clear braces, as you can remove them during dental visits.
Typically, when you have a clear or invisible brace fitted, your dentist may use a computer 3D model programme to scan your mouth; this provides a greater level of accuracy than an imprint or mould.
Then, your braces will be fitted to sit comfortably over your teeth, while also providing realignment, with no protruding metal or sharp edges.
We all remember our friend with braces complaining of pain after visiting their orthodontist, following having their braces tightened. This is due to the pulling of teeth to realign them- a very uncomfortable process.
With invisible braces, the method of realignment involves gentle nudging teeth into their desired final position over a longer period, which is more comfortable for wearers and reduces discomfort drastically.
Invisible or clear braces are not suitable for everyone; if you have severe alignment issues, your dentist may advise against using clear aligners, as you will not benefit from the treatment.
If you are curious about your suitability for clear braces, contact a dentist today.