Adolescents can be especially weary of the thought of braces. No one wants to be known as “metal mouth” or “brace face.” When I was a kid, the options for braces were limited. I remember when kids in my class would have countdowns until the day they could get their braces taken off. Luckily these days there are options like invisible braces or Invisalign, to ease the transition from crooked teeth to straightened smiles.
Even some celebrities have worn invisible braces to keep their smiles straight while they shine in the spotlight: Katherine Heigel used Invisalign to straighten her teeth before her wedding day; Justin Bieber has publicly praised Invisalign, even making YouTube videos about them; and Zac Efron turned to invisible braces to fix a gap in his front teeth early in his career.
Invisible braces are not just an option for children or teens. For a friend of mine in his late twenties who is considering braces to fix a crooked tooth, Invisalign could be an option, especially while working in a professional setting. Imagine meeting a new doctor, lawyer or investment banker who had a mouthful of metal braces; it’s not ideal for adults in the working world.
Invisalign braces are a custom set of clear aligners that are worn over the teeth. As the treatment progresses, the liners gradually shift the teeth into the desired place. The Invisalign aligners are changed every few weeks to adhere with the treatment plan of about 10-12 months. Invisible braces also don’t cause irritation to lips or cheeks like metal braces.
As well as the physical improvements, invisible braces are also beneficial for people who don’t want braces to interfere in their everyday lives. One of the down sides about metal braces is digging through the wires to find food and residue. With Invisalign, the liners can be easily removed and cleaned. You can even take the Invisalign aligners out to brush and floss your teeth like you would normally. Invisalign aligners can also be taken out for eating, playing sports or a big event when you don’t want braces to interfere.
Braces, whether they are invisible braces or not, are an important decision because teeth can say a lot about health. Teeth that are properly aligned lead to better gums, a cleaner mouth and a better defense against health problems. Next time your child or teen complains about braces, tell them that even Justin Bieber wears invisible braces!
Invisible braces are effective for some people, but traditional metal or even ceramic braces have some benefits too. Like any treatment, there are pros and cons. If you’re considering Invisalign or invisible braces, be sure to discuss the treatment possibilities with your dentist.