With so many options for perfecting your smile, it can be overwhelming to try to choose the best treatment option for yourself. Two common options for aligning your teeth and achieving a straighter smile include regular braces and Invisalign.
Braces vs Invisalign is a choice many people must make when deciding which teeth-straightening method is right for them. But how do you choose? You’ve come to the right place to find out.
This article will explain each method and provide pros and cons to help you make the best decision.
What Are Braces?
Braces are the traditional method of straightening teeth.
While there are a few variations of braces today (metal braces, lingual braces, clear braces, ceramic braces), traditional braces consist of metal brackets attached to the teeth and connected by a long metal wire that spreads across the brackets.
There are sometimes additional elements involved with braces, such as rubber bands and elastics, to provide extra pressure to move the teeth into the right place. You can expect to pay your orthodontist a visit every few weeks to get the wire tightened or get a new wire in addition to these additional elements.
The best thing about metal braces is that they’re suitable for everyone, no matter how complex your dental situation may be. Traditional metal braces are a powerful treatment that will give you the desired results.
Another pro is that, since braces are more powerful, treatment time is typically shorter than it is with Invisalign.
Finally, there are different braces to choose from beyond metal, such as ceramic braces and lingual braces. This variety gives you more options for braces that achieve the look you want.
The main drawback of traditional metal braces is the aesthetic – or lack thereof. While there are some more inconspicuous types of braces out there, traditional ones are still very apparent, which may make some people feel a little self-conscious.
What’s more is that it is difficult to maintain the health of your teeth with braces. For starters, it is difficult to eat, as you can’t eat certain hard foods out of risk of breaking a metal bracket, and even some of the foods you can eat may end up stuck in your braces. Getting this food out of your teeth through brushing and flossing can be challenging.
Finally, braces require more frequent orthodontist visits than Invisalign, which may mean missing more work and school throughout treatment.
Now that you know what braces entail, let’s discuss Invisalign.
Invisalign treatment is much different than braces. Invisalign involves two clear, removable aligners that you wear for long periods.
These aligners are custom to your mouth and shift your teeth into place. Similarly to getting a new wire with braces every few weeks, you get new aligners every few weeks. However, in general, you’ll only need to see your dentist every few weeks to check on the progress of your teeth.
There are many benefits to Invisalign, the most evident being its inconspicuousness. Invisalign involves simple, clear aligners instead of the clunky metal of braces. As a result, they generally look better and aren’t even noticeable.
Another significant benefit is taking your Invisalign aligner out to eat and brush your teeth. These actions can be challenging to do with braces, as you have to worry about food getting stuck in your teeth and between the brackets, then struggle to get it out.
Finally, Invisalign is more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. Unlike braces, you don’t have to worry about potential cuts and scrapes to your gums. Some patients even express feeling less pressure wearing Invisalign than braces.
While Invisalign may seem like the perfect option, it does come with its own cons.
For one, Invisalign patients need to be disciplined and remember to wear their aligners. With removable clear aligners, it can be tempting to want to remove them from time to time, or you may forget to put them back in after eating. This could significantly derail your treatment and extend it by potentially months.
Speaking of remembering to wear your aligners, while being able to remove them is convenient, it can also be a pain. This is especially true, considering you need to rinse them at least every time you take them out before putting them back into your mouth.
Invisalign is also not always as effective as braces, especially for more complex treatments. If this is the case, your Invisalign treatment may even take longer than braces initially would have.
Lastly, contrary to what many people may think, the cost of Invisalign isn’t usually less than that of braces. In fact, the cost is relatively the same, so money shouldn’t be a significant factor in your choice between braces vs Invisalign.
Now that you know the pros and cons of braces vs Invisalign, how do you choose the proper treatment?
There are many similarities between braces vs Invisalign, such as the cost and the amount of time that treatment may take – although braces do tend to take longer more often.
However, the right one for you depends on your specific needs. If you need a simple alignment, you may be able to get away with a few months of Invisalign. However, traditional braces may be your best bet if your dental needs are more complex.
For many people, braces vs Invisalign isn’t a choice at all. This is because Invisalign can only do so much for your teeth.
If you’ve previously had braces – say in your childhood – and have found that your teeth have slightly shifted during adulthood, it may make more sense to choose Invisalign to correct this movement instead of braces again. If your teeth need significant shifting, you may have no choice but to get braces. Your dentist can help you make that call and explain your options.
Whether you choose Invisalign vs braces, the end goal is to correct crooked teeth and achieve a greater smile. It’s essential to explore all of your options before making a final choice.
If you’re in the Belleville or Trenton areas, to indeed find out which option is best for you, contact You Make Me Smile for a consultation.