Invisible braces are the latest and greatest best solution for simple and effective straight teeth. Also known as clear teeth aligners or called invisible aligners, invisible braces are a series of custom-made, fitted mouthpieces, that are designed to straighten teeth. The way it works is, an orthodontist makes a mold of your teeth, then uses software to see how your teeth need to move so you can have that perfect smile. You are provided with an aligner that works to shift your teeth into position while you wear it. Over time, you will receive different aligner trays in order to help your teeth work their way towards straightened perfection. The number of aligners you will need depends on your specific situation.
While traditional braces have brackets that attach to your teeth and are connected by metal wires, invisible braces are sets of plastic trays that are invisible when you look at a person. The clearness of the braces and its effectiveness makes invisible braces the best solution for straight teeth for most older teens and adults.
We have reviewed a few of the best invisible braces companies in order to better help you with your decision making.
How Do Invisible Braces Work?
Invisible braces work best for people with mild to moderate teeth issues such as:
- Crooked teeth
- Slight gaps
If you have extreme needs for your teeth, invisible braces are not best for you.
Even though invisible braces are removable, you’re expected to wear them as close to 24/7 as possible.
You can remove them when eating or drinking. You can also remove the braces for important occasions like a hot date or a business presentation.
Typically, you should wear them a minimum of 22 hours a day. The longer you wear them, the better (and faster) they’ll straighten your teeth.
They tend to work in about a year (typically 9-12 months). Every two weeks or so, you will get a new set of invisible plastic aligners that are slightly differently shaped than the previous week’s. These sets will gently move and align your teeth.
Metal vs. Invisible Braces
If invisible braces are less obtrusive, why are metal braces still on the market?
There are pros and cons to both. Let’s take a look at them.
Here are the pros and cons of metal braces.
- Metal braces are better at correcting severely crooked teeth and severe underbites and overbites.
- These braces are permanent so that you don’t have to worry about losing them.
- Treatment time can be faster than invisible braces because you are forced to wear them 24/7.
- Metal brackets and wires can hurt the sides of your mouth.
- This option is less attractive than invisible braces or clear braces.
- Metal options are not suitable for people who play contact sports.
- Brushing and flossing can be more difficult with metal braces.
- You have to wait to do teeth whitening until after you are done.
Here are the pros and cons of invisible braces.
- Invisible braces are more attractive. The appearance is one of the main reasons that people don’t want to wear braces. An invisible option is more attractive than metal options because they’re nearly invisible.
- This option is less painful than metal braces as they lack metal wires.
- You can floss your teeth and bleach them if need be because the braces are removable.
- Invisible braces are easy to lose because they’re removable.
- These require more self-discipline than metal braces.
Who Are Invisible Braces For?
In general, you’re a candidate for invisible braces if you have the following:
- Mild overbites
- Crowded teeth
- Mild open bites
- Gapped teeth
- Mils crossbites
- Slightly crooked teeth
- Mild underbites
Like traditional braces, invisible braces can help remove problems that cause teeth grinding. Both treatment options can fix front teeth, back teeth, and bites.
How Long Does It Take for the Invisible Braces to Straighten Teeth?
It also depends on the user. If you follow your orthodontist’s advice and wear your invisible braces 22 hours or more a day, they’ll work faster.
However, if you tend to take them out more then you should, or only wear them at night, expect treatment time to take longer.
More extreme cases may need longer. Talk to your orthodontist or another dental professional to find out if you’d need six months, nine months, a year, or longer in your specific case.
How Much Do Invisible Braces Cost?
Invisible braces are comparable in price to metal braces.
The cost will depend on the severity of your case and how much you need your teeth adjusted, but invisible braces typically range from $3,000 for a simple correction to $8,000 for something more complex.
As a comparison, metal braces typically range from $3,500 to $9,000.