Why Metal Dental Braces Are A Thing Of The Past

Why Metal Dental Braces Are A Thing of the Past

Metal Dental Braces

Metal braces were the primary way to straighten teeth for years. Many adults can remember a time in their youth when they were forced to wear uncomfortable metal brackets and wires for many months in an effort to improve their smile. While metal braces were effective, they also came with drawbacks that included making oral hygiene care more challenging. Fortunately, new technology has come along, and getting a more beautiful smile is easier than ever.

Invisalign Technology Helps Straighten Teeth Faster

During the initial consultation visit for an invisalign treatment, an orthodontist takes images and measurements of a person’s mouth that is used to create the aligner trays. Since the aligner trays are created using a special computer program that utilizes all of the information the orthodontist provides, the treatment is more precise compared to doing manual adjustments as a person would need to do with braces. According to The Dental Institute, an invisalign treatment facility in Bethesda, you can plan to wear each adjustment tray for two weeks. A checkup is scheduled in six to ten week increments to monitor your progress. The greater precision in invisalign treatments helps to speed up the process of straightening teeth. As an added bonus, people can often see a computer-generated image of what their future smile will look like so that they stay motivated to wear their trays.

Invisible Braces are More Comfortable

As the legions of metal braces wearers past and present will tell you, these old-school devices can wreak havoc on the inside of your mouth. The brackets on each of your teeth feel a little bit like the spurs on barbed wire, so especially in the beginning of wearing metal braces, the insides of your cheeks and lips get irritated from the friction of the bracket. There are ways to reduce the irritation, such as applying wax chunks to the brackets, but these chunks tend to fall off rather easily and require an annoying amount of maintenance to truly give you relief.

If you choose to not use wax to protect the inside of your mouth, then you will have to wait until your mouth adjusts to the friction from the brackets. Beyond causing irritation to the inside of your mouth from the brackets, your tongue will inevitably get raw from rubbing on the brackets and wire ligatures, especially after you’ve eaten and are trying to dislodge food particles. Invisible braces don’t have any of these sharp surfaces, so they are much more comfortable and less irritating.

Plastic Aligner Trays Are Less Likely to Break

Plastic Aligner Trays Are Less Likely To Break

Older adults who once wore metal braces can attest to the pain they experienced from having a metal wire break and poke their cheek or gum. Dealing with broken braces isn’t only painful. If a person has to wait to get them fixed, their treatment could be prolonged. Clear aligner trays are made from durable materials that typically won’t break. Since the person removes the trays when they eat, there isn’t a worry about hard food breaking them. If a tray does break, then it typically develops a small crack that doesn’t irritate the mouth. Depending upon where the person is in their treatment plan, they might be able to switch to their next tray or get a new one made by their orthodontist in less time than it would be to schedule another appointment.

Invisible Braces Improve Self-Confidence

People typically get braces when they want to improve the appearance of their smiles. Unfortunately, having to wear metal braces means that a person may experience some degree of embarrassment about their smile throughout their treatment. Clear aligner trays are virtually undetectable once they are in a person’s mouth. This allows the person to smile and talk just like they always do without having to worry about bulky braces altering their appearance. If a person has high aesthetic needs, such as someone who is getting married, then they can remove the trays temporarily for photographs or when giving a speech. While it is best to wear the trays for the majority of the day and night, removing them briefly to snap a photo is an option that a person can’t get with metal braces.

Invisalign Treatment Requires Fewer Appointments

Metal braces need manual adjustments that orthodontists often refer to as tightening them. These adjustments are usually made every couple of weeks, which means having to take time off from work or school to visit the orthodontist’s office. While a person will still need to visit the orthodontist for checkups to make sure that the treatment is working as planned, these will be done less often than manual adjustments. This is because a person simply swaps out their tray to the next one in line every two weeks or as is outlined in their treatment plan. Having the option of not having to go into the office so often makes getting a better smile more convenient.

Easier to Clean

Metal braces are notoriously difficult to clean. Not only are they non-removable, they also have a large number of surfaces and crevices that food gets smashed into and stuck on. In order to remove the food debris completely, you have to spend much more time poking into all the gaps and surfaces. You also really aren’t able to floss effectively. With metal braces, it’s virtually impossible to completely clean your teeth. On the flip side, you can simply remove your clean aligner trays, brush your teeth, floss in between them, clean off your aligner trays, and reinsert them. You also remove the clear aligner trays before eating in the first place, so they gather significantly less food particles compared with traditional metal braces.


Although metal braces are still used on younger children who might not be able to keep clear aligner trays in their mouth, Invisalign and similar alternatives are quickly becoming the go-to choice for teens and adults. Having the ability to eat a normal diet and maintain proper oral hygiene are two big benefits that people love. Now that clear aligner trays have eliminated the hassles that people associate with getting braces, more people are able to enjoy working on improving their smiles.

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