There once was a time not too long ago when the only choice you would have as far as teeth straightening options was traditional metal braces. While these tried and true dental appliances were (and still are) definitely effective, modern technology now provides us with other options as well – such as clear braces, for example. But, as is always the case with any dental procedure or appliance, clear braces may not be the best choice for everyone. Here are some facts to consider when deciding whether or not clear braces are right for you.
- Clear braces are actually aligner trays. Although they’re referred to as “clear braces,” these dental appliances are custom-made, clear aligner trays that slip over your top and bottom teeth. Although you can remove the aligner trays yourself, you’ll have to wear them at least 22 hours a day in order for them to be effective.
- You’ll receive a new set of aligner trays from your dentist or orthodontist every two weeks or so. Gradually, over the course of about a year (the exact time varies from one patient to the next), the trays move your teeth into their new, straighter positions.
- Clear braces are virtually invisible. For many dental patients, one of the biggest advantages of clear braces is the fact that they are very hard for other people to see. Metal braces can be embarrassing to wear, but that’s simply not an issue with clear braces.
- Cleaning your teeth and gums is easier with clear braces. Because you can remove the aligner trays to brush and floss, keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape is easier than it is with traditional metal braces. You can simply brush and floss as you normally would.
- There are no food restrictions with clear braces. Again, because you can remove the aligner trays when you eat meals, you don’t need to avoid many of the foods that you would need to stay away from if you wore metal braces.
- Most patients report that clear braces are more comfortable than traditional braces. Metal braces can irritate the wearer’s gum tissue and can be uncomfortable. But aligner trays are generally considered to be less irritating than traditional braces.
While clear braces are an excellent choice for people with less serious dental issues – such as those with a slight underbite or overbite, or people with crowded teeth or gaps in between their teeth — they may not be recommended for people with extremely crooked teeth. Your dentist or orthodontist can provide you with more information to help you decide whether you are a good candidate for clear braces.