Braces are something of a commitment, whether we want to admit it or not. Though they yield amazing results, straightening teeth and potentially moving teeth to accommodate intensive orthodontic procedures, braces do take time to work their magic. In fact, the typical person will wear braces for about two years. This isn’t going to hurt; though you may experience some initial discomfort and soreness immediately after being outfitted with braces, that will fade fairly quickly. But there is something tedious about dealing with the limitations that come with braces, like the restrictions that come with eating certain types of food that can get caught up in metal braces. For that matter, some may also dislike the fact that traditional braces require periodic adjustments from orthodontists. Ultimately, there are a lot of issues that may come up with traditional braces that might have you contemplating clear braces. Though there are different types of clear braces on the market in this day and age, by far the most common types are Invisalign braces. But just because you want these types of braces doesn’t mean that they’re right for you. Let’s look into a few things you should know about Invisalign braces before investing in them.
1. They Can Cost More, but That Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Afford Them
There is a common perception that clear braces cost more than traditional braces. This is typically because these traditional braces are the norm, and therefore “older”. Older things usually cost less over time, right? There is some truth to this perception, but not because clear braces are so much newer than traditional braces. Invisalign braces cost more due to lab fees, which are more expensive for Invisalign braces compared to metal braces. These fees are not collected by your orthodontist and are instead paid directly to the manufacturer of Invisalign braces. However, you don’t have to break the bank in order to afford Invisalign braces. Usually, the difference in cost between Invisalign braces and traditional braces is reasonable. Discuss different financing plans with your orthodontist; when payments are broken up, you may be surprised by what you can manage.
2. You May Need a Retainer Afterwards
With both traditional braces and clear braces, your treatment may not be immediately finished after the braces are removed. Your braces are meant to move the teeth into new positions. However, once the braces are removed, your teeth could potentially move back into a misaligned placed. A retainer is used, often for a minimum of six months, to solidify the arrangement of your teeth for the long term. It’s important to remember that whether you choose Invisalign aligners or traditional braces, you’ll probably need to commit to retainers.
3. You Won’t Need Those Additional Visits
Although you’ll probably need to see your orthodontist for regular checkups to make sure that everything is progressing as expected, you won’t need to go for the adjustment checkups that you would need for traditional braces. Traditional braces are essentially made up of metal brackets and wires, and as your teeth shift those brackets and wires will need to be adjusted and perhaps tightened. Your clear braces will not require the same types of adjustments, and therefore you can make it through treatment without spending quite as much time (and potentially money) at the orthodontist’s office.
4. You Can Remove Invisalign Braces on Your Own, but Only Within Reason
It’s important for you to remember that there is a certain level of freedom that comes with wearing Invisalign braces. Unlike traditional braces, you can remove them yourself, which is great. Indeed, you should remove them when you’re eating, in order to prevent degradation or staining. But in order for them to be effective, Invisalign braces must be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. Therefore, you need to be careful about putting your Invisalign braces back into place in a timely manner, and clean them carefully as well.
There is so much for you to consider as you decide whether or not to invest in Invisalign braces. But above all else, prioritize your personal needs, and listen to your orthodontist’s advice. This will guide you to the right decision.