People of all ages who are unhappy with their smile sometimes avoid braces for social, professional, or personal reasons. An emerging class of orthodontics called invisible braces is designed to meet the needs of these dental patients.
There are several products on the market that use varying techniques to achieve discreet teeth straightening. This guide will explain three of the most popular types of invisible braces.
1. Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces were one of the first alternatives to metal braces with the goal of minimizing their appearance. These braces feature ceramic brackets which attach to the teeth that are very similar in color to dental enamel. Ceramic braces are typically made with thinner wires than metal braces, so they are very hard to notice in normal conversation.
Since ceramic braces use metal wires and apply inward force to the outer edges of the teeth, they are just as effective as traditional metal braces. While other types of invisible braces are even more discreet, ceramic braces have the force advantage and can provide quicker results.
2. Lingual Braces
The outer side of the teeth is called the buccal side, while the inner surface near the tongue is called the lingual side. Lingual braces are a type of braces applied to the inner, lingual surfaces of the teeth.
Lingual braces are truly invisible braces, as they are completely hidden from view by the teeth. Lingual braces use a pulling force rather than a constricting force to straighten the teeth, so they take somewhat longer to achieve the same results. However, lingual braces are often more comfortable and cause fewer difficulties while eating and brushing.
3. Clear Dental Aligners
Clear dental aligners are plastic trays molded to fit the contours of your teeth. Upper and lower dental aligners can be used for full-mouth teeth straightening that is virtually unnoticeable. With clear dental aligners, you also have the option to remove them when needed.
Plastic dental aligners work gradually and apply lower force than braces with metal wires. For this reason, they are best suited to minor alignment problems and may not be able to correct more severe conditions, such as an extreme overbite.
Your dentist can assess your unique dental needs and tell you if ceramic braces, lingual braces, or clear dental aligners are the right option for you. Whichever type you choose, invisible braces could be the first step to a straight and healthy smile without the downsides of traditional braces!