The reason so many people are wary about visiting a dentist is that they think it will really hurt. Fortunately, there have been a lot of advances in the art and science of fixing teeth, so your dental appointment will be quicker, safer, and far more pleasant.
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When you’re having traditional braces installed, you might feel some discomfort, and maybe even a little pain. The process involves cleaning your teeth, then applying the metal brackets that will gently squeeze your teeth together to realign their structure. Each bracket is then secured to an individual tooth using wire, adhesive, and elastic.
You may feel some pain as the teeth tighten against each other, though it’s not much. The attachment procedure can hurt a little too. It’s not particularly bad, and your dentist will subscribe painkillers to keep it under control.
Afterwards, your mouth may feel a little heavy and awkward until you get used to your new braces. Your tongue and cheek may scrape the wires in a way that feels disconcerting, and the positioning of the wires in your mouth might give you a bit of a lisp.
On the upside, depending on the elastic colour you choose, your smile will be a lot brighter, and certainly more sparkly. Conventional braces need to stay in for between one-and-a-half and two years, depending on how well your teeth respond. You’ll need to meticulously brush after every meal, and visit the dentist every month or so for professional cleaning.
In comparison to this laborious process, invisible braces are a cinch. They’re not actually braces – the proper name for them is teeth aligners, and you wear a new set every two weeks. When you visit your dentist once a month or so, they will measure your mouth and design a new set of aligners to fit your new shape. You will usually get three or four sets per visit.
Invisalign doesn’t hurt at all because it doesn’t need to be installed. The dentist will simply take a mould of your teeth and design the right size. You can slip on your aligners like a glove, except these ‘gloves’ go in your mouth and don’t need washing.
You can take off your aligners whenever you want to eat, floss, or brush your teeth, so you don’t have to follow the thorough cleansing routine that accompanies ordinary braces. These aligners are invisible when you talk or smile, so you’re the only one that will know they’re there apart from your dentist and maybe the person that frequently kisses you.
There’s no attachment or installation process for Invisalign, so there’s no need for drills, elastic bands, or adhesives. This minimises the time you spend at the dentist. Both braces and aligners work by adjusting the shape and structure of your dental formula, but Invisalign does it much faster, in 6 to 12 months.
Traditional braces can sometimes hurt as your teeth continue to grow. They adjust and press against the wire, which can be a little painful. Conversely, Invisalign only stays in your mouth for two weeks at a time, so you will remove them and get a bigger set before their pressure becomes uncomfortable against your teeth.
Their re-alignment is swifter and gentler, so you won’t feel any pain. However, the results will appear within days. Your teeth will start to feel tighter and you will see the difference in your smile. And in the true sci-fi flavour of transparent braces, your dentist will show you a virtual before-and-after 3D rendering so that you fully know what to expect.
If you’re looking for a way to adjust your smile without establishing a fussy, time-consuming, self-conscious oral routine, consider the ease and magic of invisible braces.