In the past years, many orthodontists have seen a significant increase in the population of adults opting for orthodontic treatment. Much of these developments is related to an increased awareness and importance placed on cosmetics and dental health. However, clear or “invisible” braces have also contributed to this increase in demand. Clear braces are like conventional metal or ceramics braces equipped with clear brackets (and sometimes tooth-cultured wire) . Clear braces are the same size and shape as the previous traditional braces, except that they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in to teeth. Some even use tooth-colored wires to be even less noticeable.
Both types of brace do an effective job of straightening misaligned teeth in an inconspicuous way. The differences occur in the way they work, how they look, what it’s like to wear them.
Who Can Wear These Braces?
The use of braces to straighten the teeth is often most effective in the teenage years when the teeth and jaw are still developing, however, this doesn’t mean that one can’t wear braces later in life; in fact, many adults also undergo orthodontic treatment with great results. Any age is the right age for orthodontic care, although the most ideal time to complete orthodontics is while the patient is still growing.
Benefit of Clear Braces
- The clear braces have lots of benefit which became evident as there is increase in the numbers of adult patients who began to pursue care. Adults were now able to improve the appearance and function of their smile without attaching the stigma of a metal mouth (due to the traditional bracing). These new aligners could be removed for eating meals and dental hygiene home care; afterward, they could be placed back in the mouth to continue tooth movement. The result of this process is in two dimensions: First, patients gained confidence from teeth that looked better and second, oral health was improved through properly aligned teeth.
- Straight teeth are healthier in form and function. Bacteria, plaque acids and impacted food partials are the contributing factors to dental decay and gum disease. Teeth that are in alignment gather less plaque simply because they are easier to clean with proper brushing and flossing techniques. The gums fit the teeth more snugly when the teeth do not overlap; leading to a decreased risk of triggers for the inflammatory process those results in periodontal disease. Periodontal disease has been proven to contribute to other systemic illnesses.
- Another of the benefits of clear braces is a decrease in the traumatic wear that can result from teeth that do not fit together properly. Teeth are like gears inside a machine: If the gears do not align properly, they will wear at an improper rate, resulting in a breakdown of the machine. Teeth can chip, break, or wear at the gum line (a process termed Abfraction).
- The ultimate goal of dental care providers is to retain each patient’s dentition for life. The benefits of clear braces extend far beyond a pretty smile. Clear braces offer an opportunity to straighten teeth while raising the patient’s confidence level in daily life.