Invisible braces have become the popular alternative to old-fashioned metal wire and brackets. But there’s a lot of confusion about what this treatment is – and how it compares to regular braces. Right now, you probably have many questions…
At FUNtastic Dental in Long Beach, our experienced orthodontists specialize in braces. We proudly serve both children and adults seeking skilled orthodontic work in Lakewood, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos and surrounding communities. We created this page to help answer the most common questions about braces and their advantages over traditional treatment.
When we say “invisible braces,” we’re referring to Invisalign – a modern approach to teeth-straightening that was created by Align Technology in 1999. Most people call them “invisible braces,” but actually, they’re not really braces at all. The Invisalign system uses a series of custom-made aligners, made of smooth, clear plastic. Virtually invisible, these trays fit over top of your teeth, gently moving them into the correct place over time. There’s no metal, wires or tightening involved. You can remove the aligners at any time. And, you simply pop in a new set of aligners every 2 weeks or so.
1) The results are outstanding.
Traditional braces are still a great option when it comes to teeth-straightening. For decades, they were virtually the only solution for correcting bite and jaw problems. If you prefer the old-fashioned metal wires and brackets, then you’ll still end up with a healthy smile.
However, invisible braces provide the same outstanding results (if not better) – combined with tons of added convenience and comfort that you can’t get with regular braces. You’ll be amazed at the results – and even better, the people around you may not even realize you’re seeing an orthodontist!
2) They’re not just for teeth-straightening.
Some people mistakenly believe that they need traditional metal braces because they have more “serious” problems with their teeth. But the simple fact is: invisible braces effectively treat a wide range of problems too. Invisalign offers outstanding results for correcting crossbite, overbite, underbite, crowding, spacing and other common issues. You DON’T need metal braces to correct these problems. Invisible braces are just as effective.
3) The average cost is about the same as regular braces.
Another myth about braces is that they’re “too expensive.” People mistakenly assume that this treatment must cost much more than old-fashioned braces since they’re newer and have more advantages. But the truth is: the average cost is about the same. According to a November 2010 patient study conducted by Invisalign, the average cost of Invisalign and traditional braces are both about $5,000.
4) You can eat anything you want.
If you had braces as a child, then you probably remember how eating was so frustrating. Even the “simplest” of foods became a mess. Pieces got stuck in the braces and lodged under the wires. You needed to constantly check the mirror to make sure they were clean.
Not only that, you had to stay away from lots of hard foods and snacks that could easily damage the braces.
With invisible braces, there are no wires or brackets for food to get stuck in. In fact, you simply pop out the aligners each time you eat. This allows you to eat all the foods you crave without restriction!
5) They’re virtually invisible!
You may wonder why we waited until #5 to list this advantage for invisible braces. The reason is that most people think the “invisibility” is the only benefit! But in fact, there are so many other reasons why Invisalign makes sense over traditional braces.
For both kids and adults, appearance is a very important issue. No one likes the look of metal brackets in their mouth. Invisalign solves this problem with clear plastic aligners that leave your bright smile unobstructed. Most people won’t even know you’re wearing them!
6) You can remove the aligners whenever you need to.
With traditional braces, once the orthodontist puts them on, they’re on for good. Even if you require braces for several years, those brackets will not come off until the treatment is complete. With these braces, you can take them off at any time. There’s no glue, wires or other bulky attachments. You can pop the aligners out at any time, and pop them back in, all within seconds.
7) You can brush and floss as normal.
Brushing with traditional braces isn’t always easy, and you need to be careful not to damage the wire or brackets. Flossing, too, is virtually impossible. All this makes it increasingly difficult to maintain good oral hygiene while you have braces. Remember: your Invisalign aligners can be popped out at any time. That means you can brush and floss normally, maintaining the proper habits you need to keep a bright, healthy smile.
8.) No irritating metal pieces.
Traditional braces take some time to get used to. When you add metal brackets and wires to your mouth, it’s not just noticeable – it’s an annoyance. Plus, those braces can easily irritate your cheeks and gums, making the entire experience uncomfortable.
9) You don’t need to see the orthodontist as often.
Traditional braces need to be constantly tightened and readjusted in order for them to be effective. This means you have to visit the orthodontist frequently, typically every 2 weeks or so. If you or your child have a busy schedule, these trips can be extremely inconvenient. If you get braces, you’ll only need to visit the orthodontist once every 4-6 weeks. At each visit, you’ll receive roughly a month’s worth of new aligners. You’ll pop them in yourself and they do not require maintenance.
Call Us for More Information About Invisible Braces or Stop By!
Have more questions about braces? We’re happy to help! FUNtastic Dental & Orthodontics offers a fun, welcoming dental environment for both kids and adults. Children love our “Dental Theme Park,” complete with movies, games and even a sugar-free candy store. Adults love our “zero wait time,” our focus on pain-free care, and so many great features that no other orthodontist in our area offers. Just give us a call or stop by our Long Beach office to learn more about braces for kids or adults. We look forward to meeting you!