What do you really know about invisible braces? While most of us know that invisible braces are some form of teeth straightening treatment, we may not be very familiar with what this treatment actually entails. In fact, some of the things we may have heard about invisible braces could even be myths that are not very factually accurate.
Also known as clear aligners, invisible braces are removable braces consisting of clear plastic aligners. In this article, we list out some of the most common myths surrounding invisible braces. Hopefully, this will allow you to more clearly identify fact from fiction when it comes to this particular type of teeth straightening method.
Myth 1: They Aren’t as Effective as Traditional Braces
This myth stems from the fact that aligners are made of plastic material, and there is a misconception that they are not capable of moving teeth. This is a false premise, as the mechanics of clear aligners and braces are very different. The first few wires of traditional braces work, usually with the wires attached to brackets. With a memory, they want to go back to the original arch form. Braces are often made of metal to hold the wire in place, and although other brackets may be made of other materials like ceramic, they are generally weaker. With clear aligner treatment, the aligners work by pushing teeth into place. It only takes around 15-25grams of force to move a tooth, and so with modern day plastics, this is possible with aligners.
The thing to remember is that the invisible braces have to be worn for the required time. They can only be moved to clean their teeth, drink, or eat, and should be kept as still as possible. Only when those guidelines are ignored are they less effective than their traditional counterparts.
Myth 2: Invisible Braces Are Only for Adults
This one is perhaps the biggest misconception that there is. Yes, the original purpose was to offer a convenient yet subtle method of orthodontic treatment for adults. Nowadays, with aesthetics highly sought after, aligners are also used to treat teenagers as well. Aligner therapy can be programmed or planned to take erupting teeth into account.
Currently, the goal of invisible braces is to allow for corrective action on dental issues without a major change in your physical appearance – no matter what age group you fall into.
Myth 3: Invisible Braces Only Treat Minor Issues
There is this belief that to correct major orthodontic issues, you need the traditional metal braces to get the job done right. In the early days of technology, that may have been the truth. But the functionality behind invisible braces has come a long, long way.
Now, invisible braces are more than suitable for treating more complicated malocclusions such as crowded or crooked teeth, gaps, overbites, crossbites, open bites, and overjets with no issue. Of course, as with any treatment, there are limitations to what clear aligners can and cannot do. It all depends on a comprehensive examination with your dentist or orthodontist.
Myth 4: Invisible Braces are less sore than braces
The general fear of braces is that they are painful and that orthodontic treatments can cause a great deal of discomfort. After all, there is pressure being applied to the teeth to get them straight. There is a misconception that clear aligners are less uncomfortable than braces. This is partially true. There is always a degree of discomfort involved in tooth movement, whether it is with braces or clear aligners. However, with clear aligners, there is the benefit that you will not experience the common emergencies of braces, such as brackets coming off and wires poking through and causing ulcerations to the cheek. There is also an absence of auxiliary wires such as “ligature wire,” which the clinician may sometimes use with braces to prevent a group of teeth from moving. Ligature wires can also unwind and break, causing sharpness to the gums in traditional braces therapy.
There have been instances of tightness as you get used to them, but for the reasons listed above they are slightly more comfortable than traditional braces.
Myth 5: Invisible Braces Take Longer to Work
Depending on the problems being corrected, this is untrue. Clear aligners are just as effective at moving teeth as traditional braces. However, there is a certain amount of diligence required. The aligners can only move teeth if they are on them. Since they are removable, the amount of time you keep the aligners in for (recommended 20-22 hours a day) plays a large part in the overall treatment progression. For instance, if a certain aligner is not worn for a long time each day, the teeth may not have “tracked” or moved to the intended position before the next aligner. This means that subsequent aligners may not fit or move the teeth efficiently. The success of aligners really depends on the wearer and how diligent they are in wearing them.
Ask A Professional
If you still have questions about invisible braces, you can always ask your dentist at your regular family dental clinic. At Blackburn Family Dental Care, our professionals are more than happy to answer your enquiries about anything to do with oral health and care. Come visit us at our Blackburn North dental clinic by booking an appointment today.