How Do Invisible Braces Work?
Orthodontic braces straighten teeth by using a system that applies pressure to the teeth. With traditional metal braces this is achieved using brackets and wires. With clear aligners, this is achieved by placing the aligners over the front of your teeth.
Unlike traditional metal braces which need to be adjusted constantly to maintain the pressure system, as the teeth shift, aligners are simply replaced every week or two. At your initial consultation your dentist will take x-rays and digital photos to map out the positions that each tooth needs to shift into, in order to straighten your smile. You will be given a few sets of aligners to wear, with each set marking a new position.
The Invisalign brand was invented in 1997 and, while clear aligners have not been around for as long as traditional braces, they have been around for long enough to be tried, tested and trusted by dental practitioners around the world.
What Are The Benefits Of Invisible Braces?
Clear aligners are popular with adults and older teenagers because of their aesthetics. While they are not completely invisible, they are one of the most discreet ways to straighten teeth. For many patients with crooked teeth, shyness about not having straight teeth is replaced by the shyness of wearing traditional metal braces, and smiling in photographs or when meeting new people becomes a social problem.
This is not really the case with invisible braces, because from a certain distance, you can’t really tell that a person is wearing them. In order to maintain this discretion however it is important that you follow the care instructions you have been given carefully. This includes removing them for eating and drinking, so you do not stain the special plastic they are made from. It also means cleaning them carefully and avoiding using substances that can damage them or make the plastic shiny and more noticeable.
Invisible Braces Can Be Removed
Patients who wear traditional metal braces find them very restrictive because they have to be worn all the time. And, while invisible braces can be removed for eating and drinking they should be worn for the rest of the time. In fact, in order for your aligners to straighten your teeth effectively they must be worn for 22-23 hours per day. If you do not do this, you risk not meeting your treatment milestones and finishing your treatment on time.
Do Aligners Work?
When your dental practitioner is consulting with you, he or she will be able to give you a digital impression of what your smile will look like eventually. You will be able to gauge what you think and see how straight your smile is.
Don’t Forget To Wear Your Retainer
It’s highly likely that you will be given a retainer to wear after treatment. This is an important last step in your orthodontic treatment that shouldn’t be forgotten about. If you do forget, the chances are that your teeth could slip back into their former positions and undo the hard work you have done over the last 18 months or two years. It isn’t worth taking this risk – especially not for a few hours of wearing a retainer every day. In most cases you wear the retainer at night anyway, so it isn’t a major inconvenience.
Invisible braces can straighten teeth if you need mild to moderate correction or jaw alignment, if you wear them for the stipulated 22-23 hours per day. In order to keep them invisible and reap the esteem benefits, you must follow the care instructions you have been given and remove them for eating and drinking. Additionally, it’s essential to wear a retainer if prescribed by your dental practitioner. Wearing invisible braces is much more convenient than traditional orthodontics because you do not have to visit your dentist as often for adjustments, or experience the same degree of discomfort that is associated with traditional metal braces.
If you still have questions about how do invisible braces work or whether clear aligners are a good choice for your teeth correction needs, please contact us for a confidential appointment: (02) 9158 6379.