Getting braces as an adult is a big decision. You have to commit to several months or even a few years of treatment to see results. However, if you want a pretty smile, and if you're concerned about your oral health, then braces could be the answer. Crooked teeth are more difficult to brush and floss properly, so straightening them with braces may help you keep your teeth healthy longer. If you're avoiding braces because you don't want a mouth full of ugly metal for many months, you'll be happy to know there may be alternatives. Here are two types of braces that are nearly invisible.
Lingual braces are cemented to the back of your teeth rather than the front like traditional metal braces are. Other than that, they work much like braces that are worn on the front. Each tooth has a bracket cemented onto it, and the brackets are attached to a wire that gradually pulls the teeth into alignment. When your teeth are seen from the front as you talk or smile, the braces are invisible because they are hidden by your teeth. If you are concerned about braces affecting your appearance, lingual braces could be a good option for you. However, they have a few disadvantages too.
One drawback to lingual braces is that they can affect your speech. The brackets and wires are on the back of your teeth where you normally place your tongue when you speak. This could make your tongue sore, and it may cause you to lisp. You'll need to go through an adjustment period before the braces feel comfortable in your mouth, and you can eat and drink normally again.
Another option for invisible braces are clear aligner trays. However, they aren't completely invisible. They are transparent, so from a distance, they aren't noticeable. They can be spotted up close, but since they are clear, like a clear mouth guard, they don't detract from your appearance. The biggest advantage to clear aligner trays is that they are removable. They are not cemented to your teeth, so you can take the trays out when you eat and when you brush your teeth. This makes oral hygiene much easier.
You need to wear the trays at night while you sleep and all day except when you eat. However, it's possible to remove them for special occasions too, as long as you don't do it too often. If you don't wear the trays most of the day, your teeth won't shift as quickly as they should, and you'll prolong the length of time you need to wear the trays. Still, it's a nice option to be able to remove the trays when you want to take a photo or attend an important business meeting.
These options may not be suitable if you have a serious alignment problem that affects your bite. In that case, traditional braces that fit on the front of your teeth may be the best way to straighten your teeth. Even if you do need such braces, it doesn't mean you'll have a mouth full of metal. Your orthodontist may be able to use ceramic or clear brackets instead. Although the braces will be visible, they won't be quite as noticeable as braces with metal brackets.
For more information, contact Cazes Family Dentistry LLC or a similar location.