If you have decided to have your teeth aligned, you are probably asking yourself this question: should I choose braces or Invisalign?
Braces, metal brackets glued onto the teeth, have been around forever. Invisalign is a newer alternative that is quickly growing in the orthodontics sphere. In 2019, over 1.5 million people started using Invisalign.
Both braces and Invisalign have unique differences. The right one for you will vary depending on your situation. Keep reading to find out which option is the best way for you to achieve straight teeth.
Braces or Invisalign: What’s the Difference?
First thing’s first, you need to know the actual difference between braces and Invisalign.
Traditional braces are metal brackets that are glued to your teeth. Wires are fitted onto the brackets and held in place by rubber bands.
Once a month, you get these rubber bands replaced. This is known as “tightening” your braces. This process helps gradually align your teeth and give you a pleasing and healthy smile.
Invisalign is a little different. Using X-rays and molds, a map is made of your mouth. This map is used to make Invisalign trays. These insertable trays fit onto your teeth and help guide each tooth into the desired place.
Instead of getting brackets tightened, you have the trays remade and replaced every few weeks. Invisalign are so named because they are clear, making them less noticeable than braces.
Now that you know the basic differences between Invisalign and braces, let’s examine some of the pros and cons of each.
One of the primary differences between traditional braces and Invisalign is that the Invisalign trays are removable. Braces are glued to your teeth and stay there until the end of your treatment.
Even though Invisalign is removable, it is not recommended that you take them out for very long. Invisalign should be in your mouth for at least 20-22 hours per day. This means you wear them during the day and at night.
The only time you are supposed to take Invisalign out is when you are eating or drinking, as food and beverages can damage the trays. In this respect, people appreciate Invisalign over braces.
Often, braces make it tricky to eat certain sticky or hard foods. People with braces have to stop eating taffy and hard candy because it can break the brackets or damage the rubber bands.
With Invisalign, there are no such eating restrictions. You just have to remember to take your trays out before you try to eat.
While some people enjoy the removability of Invisalign, others do not. Invisalign requires discipline to remember to keep replacing the trays. So if you are not good at remembering things like that, Invisalign may not be for you.
This is partly why many parents of teenagers still insist that they opt for braces. The temptation to remove the Invisalign trays is too great and ends up making their treatment less effective. Either that or they risk losing their Invisalign trays.
Care and Cleaning
There are a few key differences between cleaning your teeth with Invisalign vs. traditional braces. Flossing and brushing with braces requires special techniques and tools.
Brush carefully around each bracket so that you do not miss any food particles or problematic areas. To floss, you can thread the floss between your teeth above the wire. Many people with braces prefer to start flossing with an oral irrigator to simplify the process.
With Invisalign, you can simply remove the trays for your daily care routine. But make sure to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth after each time you eat.
You should never eat with your aligners in your mouth. But putting your trays back in after eating can cause food particles to damage the trays. So to properly care for your mouth and trays, brush your teeth after eating.
Inevitably, your trays will get dirty. Soak them in a cleaning solution every day and brush them with a toothbrush to remove any problematic food particles.
Visibility is the first thing that people think of when they consider Invisalign. Invisalign is a popular choice amongst adults because it is fairly low profile. People with Invisalign can still maintain a professional appearance with Invisalign.
On the other side of the spectrum, many kids and teens want visible tooth aligners. Kids enjoy picking rubber band colors emblematic of their favorite sports teams or holidays.
The visibility of traditional braces and the Invisalign’s low profile appearance can both be advantages, depending on your priorities.
Price Vs. Timeline
On a month to month basis, Invisalign is more expensive than traditional braces. This is because every couple of weeks, you need to have new trays made using 3D imaging.
However, Invisalign usually takes fewer months to align your teeth. Therefore, the overall cost may be about the same as traditional braces.
A lot of people value accomplishing their teeth alignment in as short a time period as possible. But for others, price is the bigger concern.
The exact timeline and price point of your treatment will depend on your individual situation. Ask your orthodontist for details.
For basic alignment issues, both braces and Invisalign can do the job well. But more complicated dental issues call for braces in particular.
These things include overcrowded teeth or inconsistent spacing.
Once again, consult your orthodontist about your exact situation to find out your options.
Find Your Perfect Smile Today
Braces or Invisalign? Everyone’s situation is different, and everyone has different priorities. But based on this list, you should have a good idea of which option is right for you.
Ready to start taking steps toward straight teeth and a perfect smile? Call us or fill out a referral form to book your consultation.