Less-Visible Braces Options For Patients Who Can’t Use Invisible Aligners

Many people want straighter teeth, but most don't want to endure a year or more with metallic braces on their teeth. Invisible aligners work well for many, but if your teeth are rotated in your jaw or very misaligned, your dentist may not recommend them for you. Thankfully, there are a few other options for straightening your teeth without that enduring metal-mouth look.

Clear Braces

Clear braces work just like the metal braces that you see most often. They consist of a series of brackets and wires that hold them together. Throughout the wear process, your dentist adjusts the wires to draw your teeth closer together in certain areas and further apart in others.

Instead of being made from metal, the brackets of clear braces are made from a clear, porcelain-like material. You can see them on your teeth if you look straight in the mirror, but if someone is a few feet away from you, they are not likely to notice the braces. All they'll really see are the wires, which are pretty thin and inconspicuous.

Since they work exactly like metal braces, clear braces can correct almost any dental misalignment. For very serious problems, you may need to have a tooth or two removed before you have the braces applied. You will have to avoid overly crunchy foods and keep wax on the braces to prevent cheek rubs, but this is nothing more than you'd have to do with conventional metal braces.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are braces that are applied to the inside, tongue surface of your teeth instead of on the outsides of your teeth. They can be used to correct many dental misalignments, but not all. Nobody will see them when they look at you -- though you'll be able to see them if you open your mouth wide and look in the mirror.

Though they're almost completely invisible to onlookers, lingual braces can cause some tongue irritation. They may also not work for the most serious misalignments. For instance, they don't work well for patients with an overbite or front teeth that stick out too far. So, you'll need to talk to your dentist and weigh these pros and cons before opting for them over clear braces.

You don't have to suffer through months as a metal mouth in order to have straight, beautiful teeth. Talk with your orthodontist today about clear aligners like Invisalign braces or other less visible options.