When it comes to teeth straightening, there are two popular options: Invisalign and braces. These treatments can both be effective for correcting crooked or misaligned teeth, but which option will work best for you depends on a variety of factors. Let’s compare the two to help you make an informed decision about your orthodontic treatment plan.
The Traditional Option — Braces
Metal braces are the traditional option for straightening teeth and one that you’ve probably seen most often for years. They consist of brackets attached to each tooth and a metal archwire that runs across all the brackets. Metal braces are strong and durable and can be used to correct severe orthodontic cases.
The Benefits of Braces
Braces have been the go-to method for years. Here are some of the benefits of traditional braces, and for some, the reasons to choose braces over Invisalign:
- Braces are effective and reliable: Braces are very effective in correcting teeth that are crooked, misaligned, or gapped. They can work for the most complex cases, down to minor alignment corrections. Because they adhere directly to each tooth, they can be a better fit for those needing major corrections.
- Braces are low maintenance: With braces, there is no need to switch out aligners or remove them at mealtime—you just need to brush and floss your teeth as usual.
- They cannot be easily removed: While this may seem like a drawback, it can actually be positive in that it does not allow the patient to slack off on their treatment plan. Patients don’t have to worry about taking them in and out during mealtime or misplacing their retainers. It all stays in one place!
The Drawbacks of Braces
While there are many benefits to braces, there are a few things to keep in mind before deciding on this option:
- Appearance of Braces: The biggest and most notable difference between Invisalign and braces is the appearance. With braces, you have to wear metal brackets and wires, which can be unsightly, and may cause some insecurities.
- Food Restrictions: With braces, many foods are off-limits since they can damage the brackets or get stuck in them. This includes hard candy, gum, sticky snacks, and chewy food like popcorn.
- Discomfort: Wearing braces can cause discomfort, especially during the first few weeks of wearing them. The brackets and wires put pressure on the teeth, causing them to ache and be sensitive.
- Oral Hygiene Challenges: Braces can make oral hygiene more difficult since cleaning around the brackets and wires can be challenging. It’s important to make sure you brush and floss thoroughly every day, even when it’s difficult.
- More frequent visits to the dentist: Braces require more frequent visits to the dentist or orthodontist to check on the progress and ensure they haven’t become loose. Additionally, if you break a bracket, you have to go in and repair it at the dentist.
The Clear Alternative—Invisalign
Invisalign is a newer way of correcting misaligned teeth without metal wires or brackets. Invisalign uses a series of custom-made plastic trays to gradually move your teeth into the desired position. It works by applying gentle pressure to your teeth in order to slowly shift them into the correct alignment over time.
The Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign has various advantages that can make it the ideal choice for you:
- Appearance of Invisalign: One of the most significant advantages of Invisalign is its aesthetics. The trays are made from clear plastic, which makes them virtually invisible when worn. This allows patients to maintain a more natural look throughout their treatment process.
- Easy Oral Hygiene: Compared to braces, Invisalign provides an easier way to keep your teeth clean without having to worry about brackets and wires getting in the way.
- No Food Restrictions: Since the aligners are removable, there are no restrictions on what you can or cannot eat during your treatment. You can simply take out the trays and enjoy all types of food.
- Comfort: Invisalign trays are much more comfortable than traditional braces. There are no metal brackets or wires that can irritate your gums and cheeks, which makes them much less painful to wear.
- Fewer Visits to the Dentist: Invisalign requires fewer visits to the dentist since you don’t need adjustments as often. Additionally, if you lose a tray or it becomes damaged, you can usually get a replacement.
The Drawbacks of Invisalign
While there are many benefits to Invisalign treatment, there are a few drawbacks that you should keep in mind:
- Compliance: Invisalign requires a high level of compliance. The trays must fit snugly in order to be effective, so it’s important that you wear them all day and night as directed by your dentist or orthodontist.
- Not Suitable for Complex Corrections: Invisalign may not be suitable for complex corrections such as crossbites, overbites, underbites, and extreme misalignment. If you need any of these types of corrections, it’s best to consult with your dentist or orthodontist to discuss different treatment options.
- May Not be Completely “Invisible”: Invisalign trays are made from clear plastic which makes them much less visible than traditional braces. However, for some people, the trays may still be noticeable when they smile or talk. Additionally, you may have buttons attached, which help to move the teeth and keep the trays in place.
How to Choose What’s Right for You
When deciding between braces and Invisalign, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each option as you reflect on your own lifestyle and habits. Speak with your dentist or orthodontist to help you decide which treatment is best for you based on your goals, budget, and habits. With the right information, you can make an informed decision about what will work best for you.
Overall, the end goal is to get your teeth properly aligned and have a beautiful, healthy smile. Whether you choose Invisalign or traditional braces, you’ll be able to achieve this goal with either treatment plan. The main goal is to find the solution that works specifically for you and will help you achieve your desired results!
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the treatment of Invisalign or braces, please don’t hesitate to contact Salling and Tate Dentistry. We want to make sure that all of our patients receive the care they need in order to achieve their desired results. Our team of certified professionals is always happy to help guide patients in the right direction when it comes to finding the most suitable treatment plan for them. Schedule an appointment today to discuss all your options!