If you are an adult who requires orthodontic treatment, you are not alone. Perhaps you did not get braces as a teenage when you needed them, or maybe you did but your teeth have since shifted and now require treatment again. Whatever the reason, being an adult with a need for orthodontic care can be difficult because you want the healthy teeth and attractive smile that braces can give you, but the prospect of wearing braces to the office seems a little embarrassing. Traditional braces are less common for adults than they are for teenagers, and it is understandable to feel nervous about how wearing braces might impact your image and they way others might view you. Fortunately, there are alternatives to traditional braces available through Edge Orthodontics in Orem that are discreet, comfortable, and convenient.
Invisible Braces: How they Work
In the last fifteen years, advancements in technology have allowed “invisible braces” to be developed by orthodontists. At Edge Orthodontics in Orem, two different invisible braces options are available: Invisalign and MTM Clear Aligners. Both are very popular with adults and function in similar ways. To start treatment with either of these options, Dr. Christiansen makes a mold of a patient’s teeth and then a computer program is used to create a sequence of plastic aligners that will slowly move teeth to their ideal positions. These aligners are made of clear plastic and are worn over the teeth, much like a mouth guard. The aligners are essentially transparent, making them very discreet. Invisalign or MTM aligners are also completely removable, so patients who use them can remove the aligners before eating or brushing and flossing. Each aligner is worn for about 20 hours a day with a new aligner being used every few weeks to progressively move each tooth to its ideal position. Once a patient’s teeth have been sufficiently repositioned, they will stop wearing aligners but will need to wear a retainer (usually only at night) to maintain their new, flawless smile.
Advantages over Traditional Braces
The greatest advantage invisible braces have over traditional braces is that they are virtually undetectable. That means you can get the smile you want without any of your coworkers, clients, or friends ever knowing you are wearing braces. Invisible braces are also a lot more convenient than traditional ones. A patient with traditional braces often has to alter their diet to avoid foods that may damage their braces (things like whole apples). Since invisible braces are removed during eating, you can eat whatever you want. Cleaning your teeth can be difficult if you are wearing traditional braces, and often patients are forced to use specialized products like floss-threaders and water picks to keep their teeth clean. Invisible braces are removed for cleaning, allowing you to keep your teeth clean just by brushing and flossing normally.
Other Considerations for Invisible Braces
Invisible Braces are not an option for everyone, as they are not well suited for patients requiring complex or intensive tooth correction. Invisible braces also require more discipline from a patient than traditional braces do because they are removable. Anyone who has had traditional braces knows that when they have been tightened or adjusted, the pressure put on the teeth can cause soreness for a day or two afterwards. The same is true for invisible braces in that a new aligner is likely to be a little uncomfortable for the first day or two, but a patient will have to resist the temptation to remove the aligner to alleviate the discomfort. Traditional braces do not pose this temptation. Those who wear invisible braces may also need to brush their teeth after every meal to prevent tooth staining.