Invisalign vs braces. How do you decide which is right for you? Both come with their own set of benefits but deciding which is best for you will depend on a number of factors. Read on to discover the differences between the two, and how to decide which is best suited to your needs.
Braces vs Invisalign –The Basics
• Braces and Invisalign are both used to straighten a person’s teeth while at the same time improving their oral health and their smile. Traditional metal braces have been around for a long time and have a well-established track record for successful treatment. Invisalign, on the other hand, is one of the newer braces options for adults having first been introduced in 1999, so exact success rates are difficult to compare. It is, however, a very popular treatment which is constantly evolving in order to treat a broader age range and correct more orthodontic problems.
• Traditional braces consist of metal brackets attached to the outside of the teeth connected with wires and small rubber bands. Modern day versions are sleeker and more streamlined and can have brackets discreetly matched to your tooth enamel; or why not make a fashion statement with your mouth by means of coloured brackets? Invisalign, often referred to as “invisible braces for adults” consists of clear plastic aligners which are barely visible to others, making it a very discreet option. Dentists use special Invisalign software, X-rays, and 3D computer images to fully customise them to each individual’s teeth.
Braces vs Invisalign– Pros and Cons
• Permanent/Removable – Braces, are of course, permanently attached to the teeth for the entire duration of your treatment so they work tirelessly around the clock improving your smile. Traditionally made from metal but now available in ceramic, their focus is more on function than aesthetics, although that said, you can have fun changing the colour of your bands:) Since Invisalign can be removed easily, there is always going to be a temptation to remove the aligners and if you don’t wear them for the allotted number of hours per day, you can undo any progress made. With braces, you have no choice but to wear them!
• Number of dental visits required – Traditional braces used to require adjustments every 4 weeks but thanks to improved technology visits can now usually be spread out by about 6 weeks which compares similarly with Invisalign although the aligners need to be changed around every 2 weeks. One thing to bear in mind is that braces can be knocked off if you bite into something hard so generally speaking when comparing braces vs Invisalign a brace wearer may find themselves facing more emergency visits than a person wearing Invisalign.
• What can braces do that Invisalign can’t?- Metal braces are extremely efficient at fixing complex dental issues. For example, if you have one tooth that is higher than the other, you might want to opt for a traditional brace instead of Invisalign. In fact, if you need problems with your back teeth fixed, or need to rotate your teeth, then Invisalign may not even be an option. This is why it’s a good idea to visit a dentist who has experience in both braces and Invisalign. Often braces work faster than Invisalign to close gaps and align teeth and patients will notice the movement of misaligned teeth in a relatively short period of time. This can give your self-confidence a big boost when wearing braces.
Braces vs invisalign – Maintenance and Hygiene
• Braces can be more of a challenge when it comes to maintenance and oral hygiene compared to Invisalign. Brackets and wires can make brushing and flossing difficult but it’s essential in order to maintain oral health. Your hygienist can show you the best way to clean around your brace and you might find an accessory like a water pik to be useful for areas which are hard to reach. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can also help. You’ll also find you need to avoid eating certain foods, typically those which are hard and crunchy like apples, popcorn, and boiled sweets. You’ll also need to give up chewing gum which can get tangled around your wires.
• Invisalign is removable. In fact, you must remove your aligners every time you eat or drink anything other than water in order to prevent staining. You also need to brush your teeth after every meal to prevent particles of food getting lodged inside your aligners making them unhygienic to wear. The major selling point of Invisalign is that it’s virtually “invisible” so just think how gross it would look if your aligners were stained from drinking red wine or coffee. On the plus side, Invisalign aligners make it easier to maintain your oral health since you can remove them for brushing and flossing but you will need to factor in a little extra time to clean your aligners at the end of the day too.
By now you may have concluded that comparing braces vs Invisalign is a pretty close call. If you tend to feel self-conscious, then Invisalign may definitely appeal to you. Plus, the fact that you can remove your aligners to eat, brush, and floss also makes Invisalign sound more desirable. However, if the thought of removing your aligners to eat and drink sounds a real pain, then you might be better suited to teeth braces for adults. Finally, depending on your dental needs, Invisalign may cost more than braces – but what price do you put on happiness?
Straightening your teeth isn’t a decision which can be taken lightly whether it’s for yourself or your child. If you need help in deciding whether to choose braces or Invisalign then come and speak to the experts at Randwick Smiles. You can also visit our review of the top invisible braces if you’re looking for an alternative to Invisalign. Give us a call today on (02) 8188 4625 and book your braces consultation.