How often have we heard the stigma a young adult may have to go through for having metal braces on? As often as we’ve heard parents complain about the challenges in teaching their kids to take care of all the metallic appliances, rubber bands and wires that invade their lives. However, it is largely accepted that the benefits of a sound orthodontic treatment far outweigh the associated challenges. The acceptance of such interventions in children and adolescents and the increased demand in adults has spurred several revolutionary changes in the way this traditional procedure is being handled.
With more adults choosing to wear braces to correct their dental problems and get that million dollar healthy smile, the aspects of cosmetic appeal, convenience and comfort have become the focal thrusts of the treatment. In contrast to the traditional metallic bracket, wire and rubber band therapy, we are increasingly seeing the usage of clear braces to fit in with the lifestyle of varied demographic groups.
Invisible braces as they are often called give people using them, the freedom to choose; to choose their appearance, comfort and style. The range of such out of sight devices is surprisingly varied. Lingual braces are bonded to the back of the teeth in such a way that no one looking at you would ever know that you have them on. These also come with a high degree of customization for maximum effectiveness.
To blend in with the teeth, several ceramic or plastic based braces are making their way into the mouths of people. These braces function using the same traditional technology but are much less conspicuous with the use of light colored ties. Additionally, some of these clear appliances are self-loading, which means that the wires affix themselves to the brackets in such a way so as to eliminate the need for ligatures completely. This helps reduce the clutter in the mouth.
There’s yet another kind of invisible braces that uses aligners to correct tooth irregularities. These clear plastic based aligners are mounded based on the laboratory intelligence and simulation models regarding tooth structures, jaws and intended movement with the treatment. These aligners are almost inconspicuous and can be removed before eating. These appliances cannot be used for the more complicated periodontal challenges, however offer the convenience of removal and less frequent adjustment visits.
With growing consciousness and awareness about oral health and its effects, and with the added advantage of a cloak of invisibility, braces are making inroads into the lives of people of all ages, professions and economic and social status.