What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment using a series of clear aligners to prevent your teeth from growing outward and, over time, help you position your teeth. On the other hand, braces, which use metal wires and brackets to apply pressure to your teeth, Invisalign is nearly invisible and removable, making it a popular option for adults who want to straighten their teeth discreetly.
Benefits of Invisalign
Some of the main benefits of Invisalign include the following:
Unlike braces, which are often quite noticeable and can limit what you can eat and drink, Invisalign is virtually invisible. This makes it ideal for adults who want to improve their smile without drawing attention to their orthodontic treatment.
Convenient Wear Times
Invisalign aligners must be worn for at least 20 hours per day to be effective. However, unlike traditional braces, which require frequent visits to the dentist or orthodontist, you only need one short visit every four weeks to get the next set of aligners in your treatment series.
Since each set of Invisalign aligners is custom-made to fit your teeth, these aligners are usually quite comfortable. This is important for those with sensitive teeth or gums.
Ease of Brushing and Flossing
Since traditional braces can be pretty challenging to keep clean, Invisalign is often a better option for those who want to easily maintain good oral hygiene.
No Danger with Hard or Chewy Foods
Since you can remove your Invisalign aligners at any time, there is no risk of damaging them or harming your teeth while eating hard or chewy foods.
The Drawbacks of Invisalign
Although Invisalign is a popular option for many, it also has some drawbacks. These include:
Reduced Effectiveness If Not Worn Consistently
Although Invisalign is quite effective when worn consistently, it can be less effective if you fail to wear your aligners daily for the minimum required time. If this happens, you may need to use braces or another orthodontic treatment instead.
Wearing and Removing Your Aligners Can Be Inconvenient
Aligners can be removed for eating, brushing your teeth, wearing a retainer, and other daily activities. However, this means that you need to consistently remember to put them back in after each of these events. If you have a busy schedule or tend to forget things easily, constantly removing and replacing your aligners may be quite inconvenient.
Higher Cost Than Traditional Braces
Invisalign tends to be more expensive than traditional braces since the aligner trays are custom-made and must be replaced frequently throughout your treatment. While this can make it an appealing option for adults who want a straight smile without drawing attention to their teeth, it also means that it may not be the most cost-effective orthodontic option for children or teens.
What Are Braces?
Braces are an orthodontic treatment that uses metal wires and brackets to gently apply pressure to your teeth, shifting them into the correct position over time. While braces can be quite effective for improving the appearance of crooked or misaligned teeth, they are typically less discreet than Invisalign aligners.
This can make braces less popular for adults who want to straighten their teeth discreetly. However, braces are a good choice for children and teens who may still be growing and whose teeth may change position over time.
Benefits of Braces
Here are some benefits of braces that you should know:
Better for Complex Straightening Problems
Since braces can provide precise control over how your teeth move, they may be a better option for more complex straightening issues. This can include orthodontic problems not easily treated with Invisalign aligners, such as severe underbites or overbites.
Reduced Risk of Relapse
Once you have completed your required orthodontic treatment with braces, there is a lower risk that your teeth will return to their original misaligned position. This means you do not need to wear a retainer as often or for as long after getting braces, compared to after completing Invisalign treatment. But keep in mind that we might advise you to wear a retainer if we find it necessary.
Multiple Types of Braces to Choose From
Many different types of braces are available, including traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and lingual (hidden) braces. Each one offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so you may need to consider your budget and lifestyle when deciding which type of braces is right for you
Drawbacks of Braces
Since braces consist of metal wires and brackets that are attached to your teeth, they can be quite visible when you open your mouth or speak. This may make them less suitable for adults who want a discreet way to straighten their teeth.
Difficulty Eating Certain Foods
Braces can make it more difficult to chew certain types of food, such as chewy candy or sticky gum. It is important to avoid chewing on hard or tough substances while wearing braces to prevent damage to the wire and bracket attachments.
Frequent Dental Appointments
Unlike Invisalign aligners, which are custom-made and replaced as you proceed through your treatment plan, braces require frequent adjustments from your orthodontist to ensure that the wires and brackets are always providing the optimal amount of pressure. This typically means visiting your dentist about every six weeks for routine dental appointments.
While this may be inconvenient for some people, it is important to remember that these appointments help you achieve better results with less effort on your part.
If you’re looking to learn more about both of these orthodontic treatments, the dental experts at Cooley Smiles can help. Call us at (425) 216-3367 for more information.