Traditional braces are known for standing out and being made of hard metals in order to straighten teeth as well as they do. It might puzzle you, then, how it is that the tiny layer of plastic used in invisible braces is able to straighten teeth just as well as traditional braces. If you've wondered if invisible braces are all they're cracked up to be, then read this guide to find out exactly what the difference is between the two and how invisible braces are able to deliver on their promises.
How Traditional Braces Straighten Teeth
Traditional braces are like a pulley system. Brackets are attached to each tooth, and that bracket acts like an anchor for the wire that's stretched across all of your teeth. Your orthodontist makes adjustments to the wire in order to pull or push a tooth into the alignment that they want. Every single tooth is essentially adjusted by hand, following a set plan that the orthodontist developed when the patient signed up for braces. After an adjustment, patients can typically go several weeks to even months before needing another one.
How Invisible Braces Straighten Teeth
In comparison to traditional braces, invisible braces do things in smaller steps. What this means is that instead of manually adjusting a wire to pull a tooth into a new position over time, invisible braces make micro-adjustments instead. This allows the thinner plastic to still accomplish the same results as hard metal.
When you get invisible braces, a full set of braces is sent to you. There might be over a dozen of them, depending on the severity of your bite problems and how crooked your teeth are. You start with the very first one, which gradually starts to adjust your teeth over time. When the teeth fit comfortably in that set, you move on to the next one. You might switch braces more than once a month, depending on the speed with which your teeth move.
Invisible braces are able to make effective micro-adjustments to your teeth that gradually move them over time. This is possible because orthodontists use computers to project how they want your teeth to move. When you sign up for invisible braces, a mold will be made of your teeth. This will help the dentist to see in a 3D space exactly what needs to be changed with your bite. This mold is scanned into a computer, and the computer then creates a series of gradual adjustments that will be made to your smile. With this information in hand, the company that makes the invisible braces will produce custom-fit sets that will move you along this predetermined progression.
Invisible braces are able to make adjustments gently and gradually as opposed to the sudden and sometimes harsh and painful adjustments of traditional braces. If you're interested in a straighter smile with less disturbance to your daily activities, go for invisible braces like Invisalign.