Invisible Braces: What They Are & Different Types Explained

Have you ever wanted to straighten your teeth but felt self-conscious about wearing traditional metal braces? Well, today’s article is all about invisible braces! These amazing orthodontic devices can be completely undetectable, or at the very least, barely visible. That means you can get the smile you’ve always wanted without feeling like everyone is staring at your teeth.

We’re going to dive into the main types of invisible braces, what makes them different, their pros and cons, and how to choose the right one for your unique needs.

What Are Invisible Braces

Invisible braces are an innovative way to straighten your teeth without the need for traditional metal braces, and in some cases, without the need for metal at all. Some hide behind your teeth and are truly invisible, while others look like a thin film on the teeth’s surface.

Are They Truly Invisible?

When it comes to braces, there are a few different types that fall under the umbrella of invisible, some more than others. Nonetheless, it’s important to adjust your expectations – no completely invisible braces exist, some are just better hidden than others.

First, let’s address ceramic braces. These braces are similar to traditional metal braces but the brackets are tooth-colored rather than metal. Sometimes, the wires can also blend with the color of your teeth. While they are less noticeable than metal braces, they are not truly invisible. We decided to leave them out of our list because they are more accurately described as “less visible” rather than genuinely invisible.

Now, let’s cover braces that are truly invisible. One option is lingual braces, which are metal braces that are attached to the backside of your teeth, making them completely hidden from view. These braces offer a the only “secret” way to straighten your teeth without anyone noticing. This is why they’re so popular among actors and celebrities.

Another option for invisible braces is clear aligners, such as Invisalign. These are transparent, removable trays that are custom-fitted to your teeth, and since they are made of clear plastic, they are difficult to see when you’re wearing them.

However, clear aligners often come with attachments, which are small squares of resin glued to your teeth. Attachments can make aligners look a little bumpy, and the aligner plastic itself is also visible upclose, so you can’t categorize them as truly invisible braces.

But the biggest advantage is that you can take your aligners off for a few hours during an event, and become virtually brace-free whenever it’s convenient.

The Two Main Types of Invisible Braces

Lingual Braces

Ever heard of braces that go on the back of your teeth? Yep, that’s lingual braces for you! They’re custom-made just for your teeth and are attached to the inner surface of the teeth, making them practically invisible from the outside.

Lingual braces used to be difficult to use and expensive, but in the era of digital braces, they’ve become more user-friendly and accessible. Unfortunately, they’re still not as popular in the United States as they are in Europe, so it might be a bit of a challenge to find an orthodontist offering this treatment. But if you’re determined, it’s worth the search!

Some benefits of lingual braces include:

  • Completely hidden from view
  • Custom-made for a precise fit
  • Effective in treating various orthodontic issues

The downside? It might take some time for you to get used to the feeling of braces on behind your teeth, and they might affect your speech initially because they take up some space for your tongue.

Lingual Braces: Incognito

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners have become increasingly popular due to their effectiveness and wide availability. They’re a great option for those who prefer a discreet and comfortable way to straighten their teeth.

These removable, custom-fitted plastic trays work by gradually shifting your teeth to the right position. The best part? They’re easy to maintain, and you can eat, drink, and clean your teeth just like you normally would. Plus, you’ll have a top-notch smile with minimal interruptions to your daily life.

Some benefits of clear aligners include:

  • Almost invisible to the naked eye
  • Removable for easy cleaning
  • Comfortable and non-irritating

While clear aligners can handle many dental issues, keep in mind that complex cases might require the expertise of a skilled orthodontist to ensure the best outcome. You should also be aware that you’ll be switching multiple trays throughout your braces journey – so it’s not a one and done type of treatment.

Invisalign is the most well-known clear aligner brand, and many celebrities have chosen them to perfect their stunning smiles. Some famous fans include Tom Cruise, Khloe Kardashian, and Zac Efron.

Now that you have a better understanding of both lingual braces and clear aligners, you can consult with your orthodontist and confidently choose the best option based on your specific needs and preferences.

Clear Aligners

Do Invisible Braces Work?

Yes, invisible braces do work, but it’s important to note that it’s the orthodontist behind the scenes that make them work. Some systems have a steep learning curve, so it’s best to make sure your orthodontist has all the necessary certifications and skills, plus great reviews.

A skilled orthodontist can treat complex cases with clear aligners or lingual braces, but that’s not true for everyone. This is why invisible braces are mostly aimed at mild to moderate misalignments.

Since classic braces are so popular all over the world, it makes sense that most dental professionals are best prepared in handling traditional braces, which explains why they often seem to “work” better than their modern counterparts.

Are They Better Than Conventional Braces?

Invisible braces have several advantages over conventional braces, mostly concerning comfort and appearance. Here are a few points to consider when deciding between invisible braces and traditional metal braces:

  • Aesthetics: Invisible braces are more discreet, as they are made of clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth. Conventional braces, on the other hand, are made of metal brackets that can be quite noticeable.
  • Comfort: Invisible braces like Invisalign trays are usually more comfortable to wear compared to metal brackets because they don’t have wires or sharp edges. Some people have reported lingual braces to be less comfortable, but they have come a long way.
  • Removability: Invisible braces can be taken off during meals and while brushing your teeth, which makes it easier to maintain good oral hygiene. Traditional and lingual braces can’t be removed, which can be challenging when it comes to cleaning your teeth.

However, there are a few drawbacks to invisible braces:

  • Cost: Invisible braces can be more expensive than traditional braces, which might be a deciding factor for some people.
  • Treatment Time: Sometimes, the treatment time for invisible braces can be longer than conventional braces. It depends on the severity of the dental issue and the patient’s adherence to the treatment plan. On the flip-side, invisible braces can be used to correct targeted issues like certain front teeth, and that can shorten treatment time.
  • Complexity of treatment: Invisible braces work well for mild to moderate dental issues, but more severe problems might require conventional braces, as orthodontists have more experience and training in dealing with complex cases using metal braces.

So, whether you’re leaning towards clear aligners or considering ceramic or lingual braces, the important thing is to do your research and consult with an orthodontist to learn what they’re specialized in and what they can do for you.

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