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Traditional Braces VS Aligners

By now you might have seen the advertisements for products called Invisible Braces… so what is all the hype about?

Well, Invisible Braces!

Back to the Braces Basics

You’re probably familiar with traditional metal braces, but did you know the background of it?
Traditional braces were invented in 1819 by Christophe-Francois Delabarre. He created a device named a wire “crib” which was placed directly over each set of two teeth in an effort to keep them in place.

Then in 1843, a Dr. Edward Maynard added elastics to the treatment, in a bid to improve jaw alignment (similar to the elastics we have now).

Originally, the actual wiring for braces was made from 14-18 karat gold due to the malleability of the material. This is often why only people with a lot of money were able to afford braces!

Dentists were able to create wires, clasps, ligatures and spurs out of gold however in the 1950’s gold was replaced with steel due to its practicality and expense being so high.

Still to this day, the original method is used, with some changes thanks to technology and
Experience. Clear aligners were not created until 1997, an entire 187 years later!

A Clear Design with Great Results

woman at dental visit clear aligner fittingInspired by his own orthodontic treatment, a California university graduate named Zia Chishti envisioned an invisible clear plastic retainer that would perform the same straightening action as traditional metal braces without regular appointments or wires.

He collaborated with a fellow Stanford graduate, Kelsey Wirth, to create clear aligner trays custom to your mouth using computer software. They named the invention Invisalignâ clear aligners. However, it didn’t become available to the public until 2000.

Since the revolutionary clear aligners debuted, there have been many other brands using the same method (called a ‘pattern’). Australian manufacturers now have their own aligners and are competing in the market against Invisalign clear aligners. While most of us have heard of Invisalign clear aligners, many of the other brands are just as good and locally made.

The Major Differences Between Clear and Traditional Braces

Clear aligners have come a long way and continue to upgrade and develop ways to be possible for all orthodontic patients, even those who have a lot of movement required. The main difference between aligners and traditional brackets is the ability to remove aligners, for aligners to work effectively however, they must be worn a minimum of 22 hours a day and only taken out when eating or drinking (water is allowed while wearing them).

When you wear braces with brackets, you usually see your dentist every 4 weeks, when you have aligners, your appointment can vary between 6-8 week visits.

Most people choose what suits them in their lifestyle, but your dentist will usually tell you what will work best for your teeth and depending on age sometimes the dentist will know how likely you are to keep aligners in or forget them. It is super important to keep your oral hygiene excellent during orthodontic treatment as decay can hide under aligners and brackets if not kept clean. It is no longer just children and teenagers who straighten their teeth, adults make up 30% of Australians in orthodontic treatment.

Whether you wear traditional braces or aligners, both can benefit you and not just aesthetically, but improve your bite, face profile and jaw!

Learn More Today

Wondering if you’re a candidate for orthodontic care? We’d love to welcome you to the practice to learn more about the best options for straightening your smile. Contact us today to schedule a visit.
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Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.

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