Know you want to get either your own teeth straightened or look into teeth straightening for your teenager? Investing in a straight, healthy smile is always worth the time and effort, but with more than one teeth-straightening method available, how do you know which one to choose?
Two of the most popular methods include Invisalign and traditional braces. Let’s take a look at Invisalign vs. braces to learn some of the pros and cons of each and help you decide which choice is best for you:
Invisalign is More Transparent
When considering Invisalign vs. braces, one of the main reasons that patients often opt for Invisalign is because it’s more transparent than even clear braces. Most people can’t even tell if another person is wearing Invisalign unless it’s mentioned.
Clear braces are good at blending into a patient’s teeth better than standard metal braces, but they’re still noticeable.
Some patients, teenagers especially, feel especially self-conscious with braces, so they prefer to opt for a less obvious aligner. Others don’t mind either way, so it’s other differences that come into consideration more.
Invisalign vs. Braces: Braces Can’t Be Removed
This difference is a pro and a con depending on who you ask. Invisalign can be removed from the mouth whereas braces cannot. Invisalign trays are easily taken out so they can be cleaned and so that brushing and flossing teeth is easier to accomplish. This keeps the mouthpiece clean and free from bacteria and makes good oral hygiene easier as well.
However, those who choose to opt for Invisalign need to have the discipline it takes to wear the trays regularly and not be tempted to leave them out for too long once removed.
Although the trays can be removed to eat or drink, or to brush and floss, they need to be worn at all other times, for at least 22 hours a day. This means they can’t be taken out for a whole day or left out all night otherwise you run the risk of the trays no longer fitting and the teeth not becoming as straight as they would have.
Since braces can’t be removed, straight teeth are often achieved more quickly. They’re a better choice for those patients who aren’t sure if they can commit to wearing Invisalign almost around the clock.
Braces Don’t Require As Many Adjustments
When it comes to Invisalign vs. braces, it’s worth knowing that braces don’t require as many adjustments as Invisalign. The Invisalign trays need to be changed every couple of weeks compared to once a month for braces.
This means you need to be prepared to visit your dentist or orthodontist more often if you opt for Invisalign. Many patients don’t mind this while others find it difficult to squeeze extra appointments into their schedule.
There are some carriers that give patients three sets of Invisalign aligners each time they visit, so they only need to come into the office every 6 weeks. If you’re curious about how often you need to schedule an appointment for adjustments, be sure to ask your dentist so you can better decide which option is best for you.
Braces are Better for More Serious Straightening
If you’ve got a more extensive situation such as extremely crowded or gapped teeth, crossbites, malocclusions, or other jaw issues, you might not even have the option of choosing Invisalign. Braces treat the cases that Invisalign can’t handle.
If you have more serious teeth issues, your dentist or orthodontist will recommend that braces are the way to go.
Invisalign is Less Irritating
Traditional braces can be a little brittle which can sometimes be irritating to the surrounding gums, lips, and tongue. Braces do take some getting used to since the brackets can feel rough and cause some discomfort at first against the cheeks and lips. Most patients get used to braces within a couple of days.
Invisalign, however, is smooth all the way around and doesn’t require as high of a tolerance level.
One of the reasons that some people tend to shy away from standard braces is because of the list of foods they need to avoid. Braces are made up of many wires and brackets which are susceptible to breakage if you eat the wrong type of foods.
Your orthodontist will discourage you from eating hard candy, sticky candy and foods, hard ice cubes, and more. With Invisalign, this isn’t an issue because you remove the trays before eating anyway.
Braces are much more challenging to clean than Invisalign trays. With braces, you have to learn how to navigate your floss and toothbrush around the many nooks and crannies of the wires and brackets. If you don’t do so, food and plaque can buildup and cause problems.
Invisalign trays need to be thoroughly cleaned as well, but it’s easier to do when you can pop out the trays, give them a cleaning, and brush and floss your teeth without anything in the way.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Now that you know a little bit more about Invisalign vs. braces, you hopefully have more of a sense of the pros and cons of each.
The next step is scheduling an appointment with us to have the discussion about the option that will yield the results you’re looking for and which choice is best for you or your child’s individual mouth.
Give us a call and we’ll get you in to see us so we can move forward toward that straight, beautiful smile!