In a society which is increasingly concerned about people’s appearances, a major source of embarrassment to people is having a set of teeth which is not well aligned. This may hinder interaction with others, affect self-esteem and preclude a job that requires constant contact with customers. However, this can be fixed relatively easily with the use of dental braces.

Dental braces are tools used by a dentist to straighten out and properly positioning the teeth in order to correct any deformities that exist. Braces work on the teeth by applying varying force and pressure from different sides in order to move the teeth into any desired position over a period of time (from 6 to 24 months depending on the degree of improper alignment)

Two major categories of braces are the traditional braces and the invisible braces. The picture you have in mind about braces is probably one of a traditional brace which is the metallic form that people mostly get to use. The traditional braces are made of stainless and have brackets attached to each tooth while a thin wire then connects these brackets to pull on the brackets and apply the pressure that is needed to straighten out the teeth. Traditional braces have been in practice for a long while, are quite effective and are easily visible to everyone around you. The ceramic braces which are similar in colour to the teeth and the inside braces which are applied at the back of the teeth are slight modifications of the traditional wire braces geared toward reducing the visibility of the wires and brackets.

Invisible braces or clear aligners as the name suggests are not easily visible to people around. This makes them ideal for adults who might be embarrassed by the thought of having the unattractive and often uncomfortable traditional braces. The clear aligner is quite simply a custom-made boxer’s mouth guard produced based on a digital impression of the teeth which serves to move the teeth into position when worn over time. In addition to removing the major problem of appearance present with the traditional braces, the invisible brace has other advantages as well.

One of these advantages of the invisible brace is the easy removal of the brace for eating which helps overcome the problem of food bits getting stuck in between the wires of the traditional brace. This easy removal also affords a chance of easy cleaning of both the brace as well as a good chance of brushing the mouth to ensure proper oral hygiene. The clear aligners also eliminate the problem posed by protruding edges of the metal wires that may injure the mouth, tongue or gums. Traditional braces also place restrictions on the eating habits of the user as they have to avoid food which they otherwise could enjoy. With the easy removal of invisible braces, this is avoided. Also, traditional braces usually require a bit of experimentation during the process of treatment to get the right fit while a computerized impression is obtained to make the custom invisible brace. There thus appears to be a myriad of advantages for the invisible brace over the traditional ones.