4 Surprising Pros And Cons Of Invisible Braces

The decision to get braces as an adult can be a difficult one. Not many people want to be known for having a mouth full of crooked or misshapen teeth, but you probably don't want to be the one adult in the office sporting a mouth full of metal brackets, either. You may be tempted to jump straight to clear braces – removable plastic aligners that are all but invisible in your mouth. Invisible braces are great for some people, but not everybody likes them, and you may be surprised by some of the reasons for and against them. Take a look at some unexpected pros and cons to find out if invisible braces might be right for you.

Pro: You Might Lose Weight

If you want to kill two birds with one stone, invisible braces might help you lose weight while straightening your teeth. That's because you can't eat while you're wearing them – and in order to be effective, you have to wear them for at least 22 hours a day, leaving only two hours each day for you to eat meals, snack, and brush. Oh, and don't forget, you have to brush after every meal or snack before you put the aligners back in place.

That means that every time you're tempted to grab a quick bite, you'll have to ask yourself if you have the time left in the day, and if it's worth the effort to remove the aligners, eat, brush, and put them back in place. You may find yourself saying "not worth it" more often than you think. Although weight loss isn't an advertised side effect of the braces, dentists say they see an average loss of about 15 pounds in their patients who choose invisible braces.

Con: You Might Develop A Lisp

Just because others may not be able to see the braces doesn't mean that they won't be able to hear them. If you've ever worn fake novelty teeth over your real ones, you should have an idea of how hard it can be to speak intelligibly while wearing them. Of course, invisible braces are a tighter fit than Halloween vampire teeth, but that doesn't mean they don't have a learning curve.

The good news is that you will eventually get used to speaking while wearing the braces and any speech impediment will become less noticeable. Consider having your first aligners fitted on a Friday, and spend the weekend practicing your speaking skills before you go into the office on Monday. The more time you spend talking while wearing the aligners, the easier it will get.

Pro: The Price Is Right

Let's face it – getting braces is never going to be cheap. But if you haven't considered invisible braces because you think they'll be far more expensive than other types of braces, there's good news. Invisible braces are actually pretty competitively priced, especially if you have dental insurance.

With dental insurance, the average out-of-pocket costs of invisible braces comes to about $2100. That's less than the out-of-pocket costs for traditional metal braces, which come to about $3407 with insurance. Without insurance, you'll pay a little more for the invisible braces – an average of $5600 compared to $4937 for metal braces – but still less than you'd pay for lingual braces that are installed behind your teeth in order to be less visible. Those can run you as much as $13,000.

Con: You May Need To Give Up Your Morning Coffee

You can't eat with invisible braces on your teeth, but you can drink with them on if you want to. However, it's important to keep in mind that what you drink can stain your aligners – this is especially true of common tooth-staining drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine. And once they become stained, your invisible braces aren't so invisible – they'll be an unattractive reminder that you're wearing braces until you're ready for your next set of new aligners.

You can avoid staining your aligners simply by sticking to water and other clear liquids while you have the braces on, and only drinking java when you have them off. Or, if you're really desperate, you can sip your coffee, tea, or wine through a straw. It's not a perfect solution, but drinking through a straw minimizes the liquid's contact with the teeth, and should also minimize any staining.

If clear braces seem like the right choice for your teeth, a local orthodontist, like those found at http://www.dentistryoffayetteville.com, can help. The sooner you schedule a consultation, the sooner you'll be on your way to straighter teeth.