Invisible Braces And Invisible Aligners Are Not The Same Thing

If you're looking into options for straightening your teeth and perfecting your smile, you've probably come across the terms "invisible braces" and "invisible aligners" a few times. Though these terms are often mistaken to mean the same thing, they actually refer to two different types of devices. It's important that you know the difference so you can make a more informed decision as to which device is better suited to your needs.

Invisible Braces

Invisible braces are quite similar to the traditional metal braces many of your friends probably had in middle school. Instead of being made from metal, however, they are made from a clear acrylic material. The brackets sit individually on your teeth, but they are not connected by wires or rubber bands. The term "invisible" is a little bit of an exaggeration since someone will be able to tell you have braces on if they look closely. However, from a few feet back ,the braces are essentially invisible.

Invisible braces can be used to correct all but the most serious dental misalignments including teeth that have not dropped down far enough in the jaw and those that are rotated slightly to one side. Your orthodontist puts them on, and then they are left in place for several months to a year. You can't take them out, so there's no risk of losing them or forgetting to put them back in.

Invisible Aligners

Invisible aligners are quite different from braces. They don't have individual brackets. Instead, they are plates made from clear plastic. One plate slips over your top teeth, and another slips over your bottom teeth. Unless you stain them by drinking a lot of coffee or wine, the plates really are invisible against your teeth. You remove the aligners to eat, which means you don't have to avoid sticky or crunchy foods like you do with traditional braces. Unfortunately, this also means there's a risk of losing the plates or forgetting to put them back in.

Though invisible aligners work well for many adults, they can't always be used to correct more serious dental misalignment issues like rotated teeth. Or, you may need to wear them for much longer than you'd have to wear braces if your misalignment is more serious.

Both invisible aligners and invisible braces allow you to straighten your teeth less conspicuously than with traditional metal braces. Talk to a dentist like Fayetteville Family Dentistry to learn more about these options and which is best suited to your needs.