Historically, braces have not had looks on their side. Although they’ve always been great at straightening teeth, their association with train tracks was not completely undeserved.
So, imagine the excitement among clinicians and patients when a new generation of discreet braces entered the market. Unsurprisingly, they’ve quickly gone from strength to strength and ‘invisible braces’ has become a popular buzzword within the world of orthodontics.
But what exactly are ‘invisible’ braces?
We’ll start with the bad news, as you’ve probably realised, they’re not actually invisible (although we’re sure someone is working on this). However, they are very discreet.
They also come in various shapes and sizes, so you can choose the ‘invisible’ brace that best suits your lifestyle and budget.
Invisalign is quickly becoming a generic term for clear, removable aligners. It’s a fantastic system that straightens teeth using a series of custom-made aligners. Just wear each aligner for at least 20 hours a day to gradually perfect your smile. Conveniently, you can even take your brace out to eat, drink and brush your teeth.
Thanks to its popularity, Invisalign keeps getting better – and there are now four different types to choose from: Invisalign Full, Invisalign Teen, Invisalign Lite and Invisalign i7. Invisalign i7, for example, was created to help patients with very mild crowding straighten their teeth within just a few months, while Invisalign Teen has been specially designed for younger patients.
We’ve straightened more than 3,500 smiles using Invisalign, so we can vouch for its discreetness – and its great results.
Lingual braces are the closest you’ll get to a truly invisible brace. They look and straighten teeth just like a traditional fixed brace, but instead of fitting the brackets to the front of your teeth, we attach them behind. Even we wouldn’t be able to spot a lingual brace up close without a dental mirror!
As well as being inconspicuous, lingual braces are very good at straightening teeth. The latest appliances feature custom-made brackets and arch wires, which help us to achieve more precise movements and move your teeth exactly where we want them. Lingual braces are fixed in place throughout your treatment, making them appealing to patients who don’t like the idea of having to take their brace out (and to those who might be tempted not to put it back in!).
Clear braces are traditional fixed braces with clear or tooth-coloured brackets – some even feature tooth-coloured wires, too! They’re the least inconspicuous of all the ‘invisible’ braces, but what they lack in discreetness they make up for in capability.
Fixed braces have been used for centuries to move teeth, and they can be used to straighten even the most difficult malocclusions (bite problems), as well as straightforward crowding. In fact, there is a growing range of braces, including Six Month Smiles, that have been specially designed to straighten crowded front teeth quickly and discreetly.
Clear braces are also one of our more affordable ‘invisible’ braces. You can even mix and match them with other braces – a popular combination is lingual braces on the top teeth and clear braces on the lower teeth.
To find out more about ‘invisible’ braces and ask us all your questions, contact us to arrange your free no-obligation consultation*.