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Invisalign Versus Clear Braces

When you initially begin to research adult orthodontics, it can be confusing. Some articles and websites talk about clear braces while others talk about Invisalign, and often the terms seem interchangeable but can refer to quite different treatments.

What Is the Difference Between Invisalign and Clear Braces?

Invisalign is a clear braces system. It uses aligners made from clear BPA-free plastic, which are removable. Invisalign is often called an invisible braces system because the aligners are very difficult to see once in the mouth. However, you may notice a slight halo effect around the teeth.

In comparison, fixed clear braces like clear Damon braces are similar to traditional orthodontic systems. They have brackets bonded onto teeth for the duration of treatment and which are connected to wires.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign uses clear aligners to firmly yet gently reposition teeth, utilizing low forces that are more comfortable for patients. Patients wear each set of clear aligners for two weeks before discarding them to move on to the next set in the series. The number of sets required depends on the complexity of tooth movements needed to straighten teeth and correct any bite problems. Every aligner set is custom created using Invisalign’s computerized software and technology and is designed to reposition each tooth precisely. The treatment provides predictable results and is popular with adult patients.

How do Clear Fixed Braces Work?

Clear fixed braces work in the same way as traditional metal braces. These are also called clear bracket braces. However, instead of metal brackets, you have clear bracket braces that are permanently fixed onto teeth for the duration of treatment. These clear brackets are still attached to wires, but elastics may be unnecessary. Usually, elastics create extra tension, ensuring teeth move correctly, but clear bracket braces can be self-ligating, meaning they tighten automatically, although this isn’t always the case, and sometimes elastics are still needed. Although the brace brackets are clear or made from a ceramic material, they are cemented onto teeth and are not completely invisible. Instead, the brackets take on the color of natural teeth and do blend in pretty well.

Clear ceramic braces are also a popular choice with patients because they are quite discreet. They can be better for treating more serious cases of malocclusion and can provide incredibly precise tooth movements.

Living with Invisalign

Living with Invisalign can be quite different compared with clear fixed braces. Invisalign is a very popular system because the aligners are removable, unlike fixed braces that remain permanently on teeth until treatment is complete. Having removable aligners reduces the impact of orthodontic treatment on everyday life.

With Invisalign, you don’t need to make substantial changes to your eating habits and oral care routine. When it comes to mealtimes, you simply remove the aligners, and they must also be taken out when you have anything to drink other than water, as beverages like tea and coffee could stain the aligners. Once you finish eating and drinking, you simply brush your teeth and clean your aligners before replacing them in your mouth.

When you wish to brush and floss your teeth, you remove the aligners and can clean them normally without needing to use any special tools, and it will not take you any longer to clean your teeth thoroughly. You need to clean your aligner trays regularly by brushing them gently and rinsing them in water. Invisalign can provide proper cleaning solutions and crystals to ensure the trays remain ultra-fresh and hygienic.

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Best dental experience ever. Professional and very clean office. Everyone from the receptionist to the hygienist to the dentist are amazing. So friendly and patient. You can even watch TV while getting work done on your teeth!

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Seeing Your Dentist during Invisalign Treatment

You will need to come and see us regularly during Invisalign treatment, but these visits are very short as we just need to check your teeth are moving properly and provide more sets of aligners as required.

Living with Clear Fixed Braces

When you have clear fixed braces, it will take you longer to look after them properly and affect your food choices and oral care routine.

Clear bracket braces are more fragile than traditional metal braces, so you need to take extra care to avoid damaging them. When you have clear ceramic braces, it’s important to avoid eating very hard foods that could break the brackets. Very sticky and chewy foods are also best avoided because these can become stuck around the brackets and wires and are difficult to remove.

When you wish to brush and floss your teeth, it will take longer, and you will need to use special flossing tools to clean around the brackets and wires thoroughly. It’s extremely important to pay extra attention to your oral health while wearing fixed braces, as otherwise, once the brackets are removed, you could be left with white spots where the tooth enamel has begun to weaken. These white spots can indicate lesions in the tooth enamel and the first signs of decay.

Seeing Your Dentist during Clear Fixed Braces Treatment

You will need to see your dentist regularly when you have clear fixed braces. These appointments can take a bit longer because your dentist will need to adjust your braces and make any repairs if needed.

Who Should Choose Invisalign?

Treatment is excellent for anybody seeking a more discreet orthodontic treatment with minimal impact on everyday life. Invisalign clear braces are ideal for teenagers and adults committed to wearing the aligners for at least 22 hours each day. Wearing the aligners for less time could negatively impact treatment.

The technologies used during Invisalign treatment are extremely sophisticated and can treat a wide range of orthodontic problems, including more complicated issues. When tooth movements are more complex, you may need special tooth-colored attachments on your teeth to help move teeth more effectively. These attachments are made from tooth-colored resin, so they are extremely discreet and mean that Invisalign treatment is suitable for most people.

Who Should Choose Clear Ceramic Braces?

These braces are ideal for anyone with complex bite problems that require extensive treatment to correct. Clear invisible braces for teeth can be a more cost-effective solution compared with Invisalign, but they are more expensive than traditional metal braces and do require far more care than Invisalign aligners.