If you are an adult with misaligned teeth, you may be concerned about the effect that braces could have on your appearance. However, having braces does not have to be unsightly. There are multiple orthodontic alignment options that are difficult to notice in the mouth. Here are a few of them.
Traditional Clear Braces
Clear braces offer discreet aligning for people who need the straightening power of traditional braces, but who are uncomfortable with metal brackets.
Traditional braces usually consist of brackets that are affixed to the teeth, an archwire that exerts aligning force, and elastic bands that attach the archwire to the brackets.
The brackets of traditional braces are usually made of metal, which is easily visible against the teeth. With clear braces, the brackets are made of dental ceramic, which is still quite durable but is the same color as your tooth enamel. Consequently, the clear braces appear transparent against the teeth.
Lingual braces are designed similarly to traditional metal braces, but the placement of the brackets is different. Instead of the brackets being bonded to the front of the teeth, they are applied to the back side of the teeth, nearest to the tongue. As a result, the braces are hidden from view.
Lingual braces can offer additional advantages for people who play sports or musical instruments that require the use of a mouthpiece. Blows to the mouth are common in contact sports, and traditional braces can become caught on the lips. Also, the mouth must be held in specific positions to blow properly into a wind instrument. The lingual braces eliminate the need for bulky brackets to be positioned directly beneath the lips.
Clear Aligning Trays
Plastic aligning trays, such as those of Invisalign, can also be used to straighten the teeth discreetly. The trays are technically not braces, but they are aligning devices.
To reposition your teeth, multiple sets of aligning trays are prescribed as a part of a progressive treatment plan. Each set of trays is worn for several weeks and then replaced by the next set in your alignment process.
Clear in color, the trays are not noticeable when worn. Additionally, they can be removed during meals, so you can eat without drawing attention to your mouth or getting particles of food trapped by brackets and wires.
To learn more about discreet alignment options, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist in your area.