If you are looking to straighten your teeth, it can be hard to decide on the right orthodontic treatment for you. Is Invisalign better than braces? Or are braces better than Invisalign? Here, our BC orthodontists share their opinion on traditional braces vs Invisalign to help you make an informed decision.
These are the most common types of braces. Made entirely out of metal and supported by elastics, metal braces have received numerous upgrades in recent decades thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology.
Over time, braces apply continuous pressure to your teeth, slowly shifting them into their new, corrected positions. As this pressure is applied and the teeth move, the bone changes shape to accommodate their new positions.
Brackets today are more streamlined than in the past. Because brackets have gotten smaller and more comfortable, you'll be less likely to get irritation on the inside of your cheeks or lips from them. However, because of their appearance, some people are still hesitant to wear metal braces.
Below are a few things to keep in mind when considering traditional braces:
- Application: Metal brackets are glued to the teeth and cannot be removed, so they are worn 24/7.
- Appearance: While braces are not as discreet as Invisalign, there are options to make them more subtle, such as clear brackets, or more fun with coloured bands.
- Maintenance: Braces are convenient in that you can brush and floss as you normally would without braces, but it’s important to avoid foods that could harm your brackets and wires, such as sticky, chewy, and hard foods.
- Pros: Traditional braces are beneficial for absent-minded teens who might forget to wear their appliances if they have the option to take them out. They are also usually a more effective option for complex alignment problems.
- Cons: Metal braces may not be the best option for teens who play contact sports. They also limit the foods that your teen will be able to eat and might cause discomfort, particularly after they are adjusted.
Invisalign clear aligners are custom-made to fit your smile. These removable orthodontic appliances are constructed from clear plastic material. They forgo the brackets and wires that accompany braces and are therefore lower profile in appearance.
You will be given an individually tailored treatment plan to help you achieve your smile goals. You will typically spend less time in your dentist's office during treatment because your clear aligners will not require as many checkups or appointments as braces do. Every 4 to 6 weeks, your dentist will schedule brief appointments with you to review your progress and general oral health, answer questions, and adjust treatment as needed.
Depending on your specific treatment plan, they may be in line with the cost of braces or slightly more expensive. A casual observer will be hard-pressed to see them on your teeth, and you won't have any restrictions on the food and drinks you can enjoy.
However, clear aligners must be worn for 22 hours each day and removed while drinking and eating anything except water. Commitment to treatment, self-discipline and scheduling meals to fit within the 2 hours allotted for meal times every day.
Below are some key points to keep in mind when considering treatment with Invisalign clear aligners:
- Application: Invisalign is comprised of clear aligner trays that are made from BPA-free plastic. They’re worn 22 hours a day and are only taken out to eat or clean.
- Appearance: Because they’re clear, they’re much less noticeable than metal braces.
- Maintenance: You can brush and floss normally after removing your Invisalign trays, but your aligners must also be cleaned daily. Invisalign is a convenient option for eating because you can eat normally after removing your aligners.
- Pros: Patients love Invisalign because they are discreet, can be removed, and you never have to worry about brackets or wires breaking like with metal braces.
- Cons: Not wearing your aligners as often as directed could result in longer treatment times. Additionally, they can be easily misplaced if teens are prone to taking them out, and they may not be the most effective option for complex adjustment needs.
Invisalign vs Braces Cost
The cost of your orthodontic treatment can vary significantly depending on the severity of each case. Whether you decide on Invisalign or braces, it is possible for either to be more costly than the other. Your orthodontist will be able to give you an accurate estimation of each option after they examine your orthodontic needs
While both braces and Invisalign can help you achieve a straighter, healthier smile, considering your unique needs will make sure that you have the smoothest orthodontic experience possible. For all of your family’s orthodontic needs, including choosing the best straightening plan for your teen, the trusted team at My ORTHODONTIST is here to help you every step of the way.