Invisalign vs. Braces

When you want to straighten your teeth, there are plenty of options ahead of you. You can choose to go with traditional braces or you can go with Invisalign. What are the pros and cons to both? Which one is best for you? Here are some details to help you figure out which one is the right option for you.

The Differences Between Braces And Invisalign

A trip to the Bridgewater family dental can provide you with better details, but here are the basics. Braces are traditionally made from metal and are attach to the outside of your teeth. Technology has improved braces somewhat by swapping out metal for other materials, such as ceramic. Metal wires and rubber bands are usually attached to the metal brackets to move your teeth to the correct positions.

Invisalign uses clear, plastic aligners are are customized to each patient based on a 3D scan of their mouth. Aligners are worn for a period of time before moving to a new one, shifting the teeth incrementally until the correct positions are achieved.

The Advantages of Braces

Because braces have been the traditional form of orthodontic correction for so long, there is a reason that people still turn to them. Here are some of the more important advantages:

  • They can achieve the perfect result: braces can typically provide a better result that Invisalign. That’s because of the materials that are used so that they can move the teeth more effectively to the most desired position. Invisaligns are a little limited in how much they can move teeth.
  • They are suitable for all kinds of treatments: no matter how difficult your case may be, braces are capable of handling them. You can have multiple issues at once, and braces can be used to fix each one so that you achieve a perfect smile.
  • Faster treatment time: although braces take less time to “install,” they actually achieve results much faster than Invisalign. The speed of treatment can be a big factor for some people, since they want the procedure to over with as soon as possible.
  • There are multiple options to choose from: traditional braces are made with metal brackets and wires, but there are newer materials that can make braces more comfortable. There are even lingual braces which are placed between the teeth so that they’re less noticeable. For those who care about their appearances, this might be a better option.

This isn’t to say that braces are perfect. There are some drawbacks to braces that should be discussed.

The Disadvantages of Braces

If you choose to go with braces, there are some cons you should keep in mind so that you’re adequately prepared for what’s to come.

  • Regular consultations: when you have braces put in, you have to plan regular trips to your dentist to ensure that progress is being made and to have them adjusted. Typically, you’ll need to visit your dentist once a month to have your braces checked and adjusted to ensure that your teeth are moving accordingly.
  • Brushing your teeth: having braces on makes it a little more difficult for you to brush your teeth. It’s much easier for plaque to build up around the brackets, which can quickly lead to tooth decay.
  • The look: not many people are fond of the look of braces and tend to become quite self-conscious of their appearance while wearing them.
  • Diet and meal time: specific drinks and foods have to be avoided while wearing braces, not only because of increased plaque production, but because the hardness of some food can cause the brackets to break or even become dislodged from the tooth. And a broken bracket means delayed treatment time and more trips to your dentist.

The Advantages of Invisalign

With that said, there are some reasons why people choose Invisalign over braces. Here are some of their more important advantages.

  • Invisalign looks better: there are no metal brackets and wires to worry about. The retainers are virtually invisible so that no one is aware that you’re even wearing them. You won’t have to worry about smiling in photos or being called a “metal mouth” by those around you as you would with braces.
  • It’s easier to brush and floss: without the wires and brackets in the way, it’s much easier to clean your teeth. It’s as if you’re not going through any orthodontic treatment at all. You’ll have to remove the retainers while doing so, but you can easily slip them back in when you’re done.
  • It’s easier to eat: you won’t have to change your diet or the foods you eat while wearing Invisalign. Just take out the retainers to eat and rinse your mouth before putting the retainers back in.
  • They’re comfortable: although there is some pain involved with both braces and Invisalign, there are fewer problems related to the plastic retainers. Because they’re custom-fit for your mouth, you don’t have to worry about cuts on your gums and cheeks.
  • Fewer consultations: you only have to make a trip to the dentist when it’s time to get your next retainer tray.

The Disadvantages of Invisalign

Invisalign retainers aren’t perfect, so there are some disadvantages you should be made aware of.

  • Discipline is required: because you can take your retainers out whenever you want, the onus is placed on you to wear them 20-22 hours out of the day. If you don’t, they don’t work.
  • The cost isn’t much different: despite the ease of use, the cost of Invisalign is pretty much the same as braces, but you get results in a much slower time frame. Is that worth it?
  • Removing retainers can be inconvenient: when it comes to eating and brushing your teeth, it can be a hassle to take them out and put them back in over and over again. And because of how many people snack throughout the day, it can become a real hassle.
  • Attachments might be necessary: some people may require attachments to help their aligners grip to the teeth and move them into the proper position. The small button-like attachments are the same colour as your teeth, but they can appear like clear braces instead of aligners.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to making the right choice for you. Figure out what kind of experience you want to have and how much time you have to invest into your orthodontic treatment to figure out which that should be.

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