Choose the Best for You: Invisalign or Braces?
What’s the best way to get the straight smile of your dreams?
There’s a saying that the best thing you can wear is a smile, and there’s some truth to that. When you have a nice smile, it changes the way other people view you—and, more importantly, it changes the way you view yourself. It can give you newfound confidence in your smile, allowing you to share it with others without worrying about it. Plus, correcting a misaligned bite and straightening crooked teeth often actively improves your oral health by making it easier to clean your teeth thoroughly. It’s no wonder that orthodontics is such a popular treatment for people of any age!
Even better, nowadays there are more options than ever for orthodontic treatment. Being able to choose between different methods like Invisalign and braces ensures that you can choose the best tooth straightening method for you, but how do you know which one is truly best? Everyone’s treatment needs and preferences are different, so we’ve broken down both Invisalign and braces, their differences, and how you can determine which option is best for you.
What are the benefits of Invisalign?
The most obvious benefit of Invisalign is that the aligners are clear and custom-made so they’re molded to the shape of your teeth, making them almost invisible when you’re wearing them. This is a massive plus for patients of all ages. Instead of becoming an immediately noticeable facet of your smile like braces, Invisalign helps you feel more confident during your treatment. This can work wonders for your self-esteem and is particularly helpful for adults who want to continue looking professional throughout the teeth-straightening process.
The smooth plastic aligners are more comfortable than braces and they’re removable. This allows you to eat whatever you want throughout the treatment, including foods that would be off-limits with braces. All you have to do is remove your aligners before you eat or drink anything that isn’t water, then brush your teeth before popping them back in.
Invisalign’s removability also makes oral hygiene much easier than it is with braces. There are no wires or brackets to carefully clean around. Once again, you just remove the aligners to brush and floss your teeth as usual. The only extra step you have to take is cleaning your aligners at the same time, but this only takes a few minutes. Plus, with Invisalign, there’s no risk of the staining that can sometimes develop on your teeth around brackets. It’s this comfort, convenience, and confidence during the treatment process that leads so many people to choose Invisalign.
What are the benefits of braces?
Braces have their own major benefits, which is why they have been used so consistently for so long. One of the biggest of these benefits is that they can treat more severe orthodontic issues than Invisalign can. As a result, braces are a great option for more people, providing real, stunning results even when Invisalign can’t. It’s a major reason that braces have treated millions of people across the world!
The fact that braces aren’t removable can also be a benefit for many people, especially if you or your child are prone to losing things. It’s easy to lose Invisalign aligners because they’re clear and can easily be swept up with trash after a meal if they aren’t put directly in a case. There’s no losing braces, though! Similarly, clear aligners can get damaged by hot temperatures or dogs who think they’ve found a wonderful new toy. When this happens, you may need to move back to your previous set of aligners while you wait for a replacement set to be made and sent to you, which can extend your treatment time slightly. Once again, since braces stay in your mouth constantly, you don’t have to worry about this with them.
While braces and Invisalign both require great oral hygiene, Invisalign aligners also need regular care to remain clear, including remembering to take them out before mealtimes or drinking colored beverages. As a result, you need to be sure that you or your child is up to the task before you commit. Braces don’t require these extra steps. They look the same way throughout your treatment, start to finish—minus, perhaps, getting to choose what colors go over your brackets when you get your braces adjusted. For many people, these factors make getting braces the better choice.
How are the treatment plans for Invisalign and braces different?
Although Invisalign and braces both straighten misaligned bites and crooked teeth by putting gentle pressure on your teeth to shift them over time, they achieve this using different methods. As a result, the two treatments look different. When you get traditional braces, an orthodontist places them on your teeth during an appointment that usually takes about one or two hours.
Once the braces are in place, you’ll return about every four to six weeks to have them tightened. It’s this tightening that provides the gentle pressure that shifts your teeth over time, and exactly how often you’ll get your braces adjusted depends on your individual case. You may also occasionally have to make an extra trip to the orthodontist, sometimes on short notice, to get your braces repaired if wires or brackets break.
In contrast, Invisalign consists of a series of custom-made clear aligners. When you choose to use this teeth straightening method, your dentist begins by taking digital scans of your teeth, which are used to map out an individualized treatment plan for you. The scans and treatment plan are then used to create your aligners. Once your aligners arrive, you can begin wearing your first set.
About every two weeks, you’ll switch to the next set of aligners. This change is the Invisalign equivalent of getting braces tightened. The main difference is that this is a change you can make in the comfort of your own home! You’ll still need to visit your dentist about every six weeks to ensure that your teeth are shifting the way they should and that they’re moving on schedule, but this visit should be much faster than an appointment to adjust braces.
How do you know if you need Invisalign or braces?
Since the two teeth-straightening options can treat many of the same orthodontic issues, most people are a good fit for either Invisalign or braces. In some cases, though, braces are still the best treatment option. This is because even though Invisalign can treat almost every issue that traditional braces can, they can’t treat more severe or complex orthodontic issues. This means that braces remain the best way to treat severe or complex malocclusions.
Despite this, most people can choose between Invisalign or braces. Especially if your smile is just a little crooked, the odds are that you can use either treatment option. But how do you know for sure whether you need Invisalign or braces? The answer is your dentist! If you’re interested in undergoing orthodontics, the best thing you can do is schedule a consultation with your dentist. They can examine your teeth and bite, then discuss your treatment options with you.
Which option is better for your lifestyle: Invisalign or braces?
If you can choose either Invisalign or braces, one of the biggest questions you can ask yourself is which option is better for your lifestyle. If you’re worried about feeling self-conscious wearing braces or are concerned that you won’t be taken as seriously at work, Invisalign might be best for you. It might also be a better option if you’re a huge foodie and don’t want to limit what you can eat for a year or more. Additionally, whether you choose Invisalign or braces, great oral hygiene is incredibly important while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.
The time and difficulty that comes with cleaning braces can be a barrier to some people, either because of tight schedules or simply because they have a hard time making themselves do a thorough job cleaning around their braces. People with sensory issues can also have a hard time with the way braces feel or with the more involved oral hygiene routine. In any of these cases, you may need the convenience, comfort, and ease of care that comes with being able to remove your aligners. Plus, if you have a very busy schedule, the time saved by Invisalign’s shorter dentist appointments and removing the need for emergency appointments to repair braces can also make them a better choice for you.
On the other hand, if you’re worried about losing or damaging your Invisalign aligners—or even simply just not wearing them enough—braces might be the best option for you. They’re not removable, so it’s impossible to lose them and you can’t get tempted to take them out when you really should be wearing them. And while braces can get damaged, they’re pretty durable and your dentist can fix them pretty easily.
How long does each type of treatment take to complete?
Whether you get Invisalign or braces, the length of your treatment will vary based on your case and how severe your malocclusion is. That said, Invisalign is often a faster treatment process than braces. The average treatment time for Invisalign is a year, though you may need to wear your aligners for more or less time. On the other hand, teeth straightening with braces takes an average of two years, though this can vary wildly based on the specifics of each case. Some people only need to wear braces for a year, while others with more severe malocclusions need to wear braces for three years.
While this difference in treatment times is partially because Invisalign straightens teeth faster than braces, it’s also partially because braces are often used to treat more severe malocclusions, which drives their average treatment times up. If you’re trying to decide between Invisalign or braces and treatment time means a lot to you, don’t be afraid to ask for an estimate of how long each treatment would take with your specific case. Your dentist will be happy to give you this information!
Your journey to straighter teeth starts at Dallas Cosmetic Dental.
Invisalign and braces are both incredibly effective ways of straightening your teeth and bite. Since they go about this goal differently, however, they have unique strengths and weaknesses that could make one method better for you than the other. This could be because of your unique treatment needs or simply because of personal preferences due to your lifestyle. If you’d like to learn more about Invisalign and if it’s right for you from the best dentist in Dallas, TX, feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr. Alhadef at any time.