1 in 2 children says that having braces could affect their self-esteem. Teens are particularly sensitive, with a whopping 92% of respondents saying they’d find it hard to fit in with traditional braces. And it’s not just young people; as an adult, who really wants to get their smile fixed if it means walking around with a mouthful of metal for months or years?
Not everyone, that’s for sure! Metal braces require care, discipline and a lot of patience to wear. Throw in the fact that you’ll need an irrigator to brush your teeth properly, and it’s easy to see why more and more people are opting for Invisalign: the leading brand of “clear braces”, also known as “clear aligners”.
Is Invisalign Worse than Metal Braces?
There’s a stereotype that clear braces aren’t as effective as metal ones. The logic is, “those other ones are made from metal and attached directly to your bone and tooth tissue. OF COURSE they’re going to re-align your teeth faster!”
And while the above certainly is logical, it really isn’t. Modern technologies have allowed the clear aligners series to offer more than enough force to re-shape the soft tissues holding your teeth in place. Metal braces and Invisalign fix minor orthodontic problems at the exact same speed; there’s no real difference.
The caveat is that certain problems do require metal braces. It’s not that they take longer to fix with clear alternatives – it’s more like they can’t be fixed without braces, period. This is the only way in which Invisalign is inferior to metal braces: it’s not made to deal with severe cases.
Can I Take Them Off Anytime I Want?
One of the main advantages of clear aligners is that they can be removed easily. This means you can brush your teeth, enjoy a meal, chew gum and otherwise live your life as you usually would.
The problem is, you can only keep your clear aligners off for 60-90 minutes each day. Remember, the aligner basically works like braces – and it’s 100% expected that you will keep them on at all times. You can not take them off “anytime you want”, no matter what anyone tells you!
Will I Need to Have Teeth Removed?
A common problem with getting braces is the need to remove healthy teeth. Even if you don’t need to extract any, it may be necessary to file a few down to make space for the metal brace. This is generally not the case for Invisalign. Since the clear aligners the brand offers are non-intrusive, you’ll be able to keep all of your teeth unless there’s a specific, individual reason for the doctor to recommend otherwise.