In days gone by, the only form of orthodontic treatment available was fixed metal braces that were placed on the front of the teeth. These are still a popular means of straightening the teeth, and are certainly very effective when it comes to results at the end of the treatment. However, some people feel self-conscious about having such conspicuous hardware. This can be especially true for those who are having orthodontic treatment later in life.
Today, there are an increasing number of options for getting misaligned teeth corrected. Two of the most popular of these options are Invisalign and incognito braces – both of which are often chosen because they are barely visible; and are only usually detectable by the wearer. But what are the advantages of each; and are there any potential downsides of these kinds of braces?
Incognito, or lingual braces are quite similar to the usual metal ones that are positioned at the front of the mouth. However, they differ in that they are placed behind the teeth. This means that they are entirely concealed by the teeth – and no one need know that the person has braces at all.
Lingual braces can be worn by almost all prospective patients. Whether they wish to get one tooth fixed or deal with a serious case of overcrowded teeth – incognito braces can be a very effective means of treatment.
Wearing this kind of braces allows the orthodontist to adjust the treatment according to how you are responding to it. He or she can make small changes to the positioning of the braces so that the end result is as impressive as possible.
Because lingual braces are permanent pieces of hardware for the duration of the treatment; the patient doesn’t have to worry about losing them when taking them out for mealtimes.
Are there any downsides? Incognito braces can be a bit uncomfortable, and may have a minor impact on the speech. This usually subsides after a few days when the wearer has become used to the new hardware.
Invisalign braces, also known as aligners, are not completely undetectable. However, because they are made of clear material that moulds exactly to the teeth of the wearer; they are barely noticeable. This makes them a popular choice for many adults seeking orthodontic treatment.
The fact that these braces are removed for mealtimes, there’s no need to worry about getting food stuck in them. It’s also easier to keep the teeth clean, as they are removed for cleaning and flossing. This also means that there are no concerns about difficult to reach plaque forming around the braces.
Most people who wear aligners describe them as very comfortable – there are no metal brackets that could cause discomfort; and they fit the teeth perfectly.
As with any kind of braces, Invisalign takes a little getting used to – and may feel a bit tight at the start of treatment. It’s important to be vigilant about wearing them most of the time – as they will not work if the wearer is constantly removing them.