Invisalign braces are comprised of clear plastic. You can pop them in and out as needed to eat and brush your teeth, and you clean the braces in a dental cup with a fizzy tablet. They have been in use as braces for some time now, but recently, orthodontists have been using them in a couple of different ways. Check out how the braces are being used now, and why it makes sense.
As Clear Retainers
The classic retainer is a slim wire that connects to a plate custom-made to fit into the roof of the mouth and around the bottom teeth and under the tongue. However, this type of retainer does not always work well for everyone, especially if there are signs of poor oral hygiene present. Hence, orthodontists began using the invisible plastic braces as retainers.
The wearer consistently wears a single pair of these clear braces in place of the wired retainer so that the wearer can pop the retainers in and out and take better care of their teeth and gums. Unlike the plastic braces, the wearer never swaps out these retainers for a different pair because when invisible braces are used as retainers, their only job is to retain the current, corrected form of the wearer's teeth. Ergo, the wearer gets a single set and wears them until the orthodontist says to stop and treatment is over — or until one of the two braces/retainers is broken and needs to be replaced.
As Place Holders for Missing Teeth
Another alternative use for clear braces is as place holders for missing teeth. If a child loses a tooth too soon, or if an adult is going to have implant surgery, the invisible braces can keep the other teeth from slowly drifting into the open space. By preventing the drifting of the other teeth into the open space, the adult tooth/teeth will be able to come through the gums and slide right into position without impaction or other dental problems. If you are an adult who is going to get an implant, preventing drifting teeth leaves adequate space for the dentist to work and to insert the implant.
Why It Makes Perfect Sense to Use Invisible Braces in the Above Ways
Think about it. In the above scenarios, your dentist or orthodontist would have used some other appliance to accomplish the same or similar task. The benefits of using the invisible braces, like Invisalign, instead makes it easier to care for your teeth, gums, and mouth than other appliances. An added benefit is that your teeth stay put, without any changes at all, which is the purpose of retainers and space holders anyway.