Braces treatment used to be most commonly used for teenagers, as worried parents feared that their children would not get the most out of life if they had to live with a mouth full of crooked, unattractive teeth. Times have moved on since then and those who missed out on braces treatment when they were young have been searching for ways they can restore their facial appearance and smile with confidence but not necessarily keen on filling their mouths with what was often termed to be railroad tracks.
This has brought about the invention of clear braces treatment which is so much more aesthetic than wearing heavy metal braces. Many types can be barely seen if at all. They are not necessarily useful for all types of misalignment problems but they can help to correct:
- crooked teeth;
- widely spaced out teeth or crowding.
Who make good candidates for clear braces?
Your orthodontist can make those sorts of decisions but generally they are considered to be more appropriate for adults and late teenagers.
Popular clear braces include:
- ceramic braces;
- inside braces;
- clear aligners.
Ceramic braces resemble metal braces, except tooth-coloured brackets are used and not metal, so the tooth-coloured ceramic merges with your teeth ensuring they are barely noticeable. Inside braces are called invisible, as they are fixed on the back of your teeth while lingual braces such as “iBraces” and clear aligners make braces treatment almost invisible.
Ceramic or clear braces
These aren’t quite as strong as metal braces while the brackets are bigger. They need small rubber bands, or ligatures, to keep them attached to the arch wire. Every month the clear ligatures are changed when adjustments are needed as your teeth move into the correct position. Due to their strength clear braces do need quite a long treatment time compared to metal braces.
These include brands like 3M’s iBraces, which are fixed behind the teeth so they can’t be seen. Images taken from the inside of the teeth create computer-designed brackets that are fixed behind the upper teeth and on occasions the lower ones. The beauty of these types of braces is not only are they barely visible but they can’t be removed by the user.
They are fairly new in the orthodontic treatment options so not all orthodontists have gained sufficient confidence to fit and manage them.
The well know brand of aligners called Invisalign falls into the “clear aligner” group and are removable, clear aligners which are custom-fitted with the aim of providing almost discomfort free treatment. They are practically invisible and brackets are not necessary.
They can be removed if necessary but they should be kept in the mouth for at least 22 hours a day to be of any use. Your orthodontist may recommend that a new set of aligners is fitted every 2 weeks depending on the progress of the movement of your teeth. These please many users because each time a set is replaced you can see the progress of your teeth.
When you look at that crooked smile and wish you had braces treatment when you were younger, make an appointment with your orthodontist and see what clear braces he or she recommends for you.