The biggest benefit of invisible braces is arguably their inconspicuous appearance. Invisible braces are clear aligners, and since they are based on your tooth impressions, they fit snugly around your teeth and aren't noticeable. While people may be drawn to invisible braces because of aesthetics, there are other distinct benefits to be aware of; here are just three advantages of invisible braces compared to traditional braces.
1. There Is Less Pain After Follow-up Appointments
One study found that patients who were treated with invisible braces tended to feel lower levels of pain than those with metal braces (and other fixed appliances) after the first days of treatment. The pain levels eventually evened out after a few months as patients got used to the treatment. However, it makes sense that metal braces would initially be more painful than invisible braces. When metal brackets and wires are applied, the tissue inside your mouth and around your lips can be rubbed raw as it calluses and gets used to the appliance. People with metal braces may need to use dental wax to cover protruding areas of the appliance. While you may feel some discomfort as the invisible braces shift your teeth, there are no protruding components.
2. Your Risk of Tooth Demineralization Decreases
When mineral content in enamel wears away—known as demineralization—you can set yourself up for tooth decay and sensitivity. One study found that people with bonded appliances, like metal or ceramic braces, were more prone to demineralization. It's easy for plaque to accumulate around brackets and it can be hard for patients to adequately clean these areas. When metal or ceramic braces are removed during the de-bonding process, this can also cause demineralization. Since people with invisible braces can brush and floss without their trays in, they aren't as prone to demineralization. Plus, a dentist doesn't have to apply bonding resin to secure invisible braces, so patients don't have to undergo de-bonding when treatment is completed.
3. The Aligners Work Better for People With Periodontal Risks
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease caused by bacteria that accumulate in the gum tissue and bone structures, which support your teeth. While early stages of this disease may cause receding gums and tenderness, it could progress to tooth loss if left untreated. One study found that patients using invisible braces had better periodontal health when compared to patients with fixed appliances. So if you have gingivitis—a precursor of periodontal disease—or are at risk for periodontal disease, invisible braces may be a better treatment route. It can also be hard for people to floss when they have metal archwires. Floss can shred, and it can be time-consuming to use floss threaders each day. Because it's difficult to floss well, it could be easier for bacteria to accumulate in gum pockets.
These are just a few advantages of invisible braces over fixed appliances. Reach out to a dentist in your area today for more details.