- Published Date: 09 Jul 2021
- Updated Date: 09 Jul 2021
- Reading Time: 5 min
Table of contents
- What Are Invisible Braces?
- What Problems Can Invisible Braces Fix?
- Types of Invisible Braces
- Orthodontist vs. Direct to Home
- How Do Invisible Braces Fix Teeth?
- Reasons to Select Invisible Braces
- Who is a Candidate for Invisible Braces?
- Invisible Braces Delivery
- Let’s Get Things Straight
There is a popular saying that “A smile is worth a thousand words.” Yet, for many people, there are no words to describe how they feel about their imperfect teeth.
Things have changed in the world of braces. Invisible braces have made teeth straightening a reality for many people. The lower cost and direct-to-customer option is something to smile about.
Keep reading to find out more about the types of invisible braces that would work best for you.
What Are Invisible Braces?
Invisible braces are removable, transparent thermoformed appliances that straighten teeth. With aligners, there is no metal or wire, adjustments, or lengthy visits to the orthodontist.
What Problems Can Invisible Braces Fix?
You no longer have to be self-conscious about your teeth. Invisible braces can take care of the problem. Some of the dental issues braces can address include:
- Crowded or rotated teeth
- Gaps or spaces between the teeth
Types of Invisible Braces
It is important to understand the different types of invisible braces available before you make your decision. Let’s take a look at what is available today.
Made of ceramic material that is a bit more brittle than metal braces. They are larger than metal brackets but are clear or white in colour to match your teeth. The result is much less noticeable braces than shiny silver braces in your mouth.
These braces are placed in the back of your mouth which hides them from view. Also known as lingual braces, they work best for people who do not want anything on the front of their mouth.
These braces are custom-made to fit your teeth and are removable. They are almost completely invisible, non-invasive, and very comfortable to wear. You can clean these easily and carry them in a portable case.
Orthodontist vs. Direct to Home
Invisible braces became popular in the ’90s when Invisalign came onto the scene. Many adults who had avoided braces as a kid were now feeling like it was possible to correct their teeth without the stigma of metal braces.
The only option at the time for invisible braces was to schedule regular visits with your orthodontist for the duration of the treatment, often 12-18 months.
Read below to compare the process of invisible aligners.
Impressions- You will visit your doctor’s office where your doctor will use a 3D scanner to take impressions of your teeth. Based on the results, the doctor will determine if you are a good fit for invisible braces.
Wear Aligners- You will wear your aligners almost all the time and will replace them on scheduled doctor appointments.
Doctor Appointments/Check-Ins- You will meet with your doctor on a regular basis. Typically you will leave with a new set of aligners or maybe you will just have a check-up.
Impressions- You will use an impression tray that is delivered to your home. It’s an easy process where you take your own impressions of your teeth using a putty tray. Once completed, you will send it back to the company for analysis.
Buy Aligners- Once you are approved to be a good candidate for aligners, you will be sent a treatment plan. After you review, you will typically buy all of the aligners at once. There will be detailed instructions as to when you change the aligners. Some companies will send you text message reminders.
Treatment Plan- You may have virtual check-ups or you can simply contact your aligner company at any time if you’re having problems with your plan. There will not be any in-person visits.
How Do Invisible Braces Fix Teeth?
Invisible braces both work in basically the same way whether you go to the orthodontist or have them delivered to your home.
Aligners work by gradually shifting the teeth into the ideal position. You will wear your aligners for 10 days at a time during which your teeth will make a small shift. Depending on your customized plan, you may have to wear your aligners up to 22 hours a day. Typically the length of time varies but 4-6 months is the average.
Aligners use a push force to rotate your teeth, unlike metal braces that use a pull force to gradually shift the teeth. Initially, there will be some mild soreness as your teeth begin to correct themselves.
Reasons to Select Invisible Braces
There are many reasons why more adults are choosing invisible braces from direct-to-home companies instead of traditional orthodontic visits. Here are a few to browse:
Simply put, many people are busy. Their lives are fully booked and taking time off from work to visit a doctor for regularly scheduled visits is not appealing.
Direct-to-home invisible braces allow you to insert your aligners in the privacy of your own home. You can put the aligners in before you leave for work in the morning and not have to take time off from work or family.
Invisible braces cost significantly less than aligners fitted at your doctor’s office, up to 60% less than orthodontic visits. This is possible because you do not have to pay for frequent visits to the doctor’s office, making it much more affordable for the average adult.
One of the biggest drawbacks to metal braces is the way they look. Childhood taunts of ‘brace face” or “metal mouth” still can make an adult cringe. Having invisible braces removes the stigma associated with traditional braces and you hardly know they are there.
Invisible braces must be removed before you eat or drink so you are limited to the foods you can eat. Oral hygiene is easier without worrying about getting stuff stuck in your teeth. Tip: Make sure you have your carrying case with you so you will not lose your braces.
Unlike metal braces, invisible aligners are made of a smooth plastic material and will not snag or hurt the inside of your mouth. Less pain and worry about hurting your mouth.
The duration is much less with invisible braces. Traditional metal braces are worn for up to 3 years to correct the problem. Invisible braces are typically worn 4-6 months depending on the severity.
Some direct-to-home invisible braces companies offer overnight only clear aligners. You can straighten your teeth while you sleep.
Invisible braces are very comfortable to wear. After an initial day or two of soreness, your aligner will slip on with ease.
Who is a Candidate for Invisible Braces?
Not everyone is a candidate for invisible braces delivered to your home. Some people have severe dental problems that may require deeper oral dentistry or surgery.
Your initial assessment taken with 3-D scans or teeth moulding kits will be able to determine if this plan is right for you. If you do not qualify for at-home braces then visit your orthodontist for further treatment.
The best candidates for direct-to-Home invisible braces include anyone with mild to moderate teeth crowding or spacing. Also, make sure your teeth and gums are healthy before starting treatment.
It is up to you to make sure you’re wearing the aligners for the correct length of time daily. Since you will not be checking in with a doctor, you will need to make the commitment to follow the treatment plan in order to get beautiful teeth.
Invisible Braces Delivery
Your aligners will arrive by mail with each aligner packaged and marked for each step of your treatment. For example, if your plan requires a 4-6 month treatment you will receive 24 plastic aligners.
If by chance you lose your aligner, your invisible braces provider should be able to quickly replace your aligner so that you do not have a gap in your treatment plan.
If something doesn’t feel right after a few days of wearing your aligners, set up a virtual appointment with your direct-to-home invisible brace provider. Make sure your aligner company has a skilled customer service staff to help you with any questions and concerns.
Let’s Get Things Straight
Regardless of what type of invisible braces you choose, make sure you have done your research and feel confident about the dental provider you have chosen. There are many reviews and testimonials online so take a look before you book.
Keep in mind that you will need to wear a retainer aligner nightly once your plan has completed and your teeth are straightened. This helps prevent shifting and keeps your teeth beautiful and healthy.