Straight and evenly spaced teeth are a common dental goal. Straight teeth not only contribute to an aesthetically pleasing smile, but also support good oral health by making teeth easier to clean during your daily oral hygiene routine. Traditional braces and Invisalign® clear aligners are the most popular orthodontic choices for straightening teeth. Since each technique has its own pros and cons, choosing the perfect treatment will depend on the severity of your misalignment and personal preferences.
One of the major differences between Invisalign and traditional braces is appearance. Invisalign is great for patients who want to correct their teeth without people noticing. Invisalign is almost undetectable due to the clear plastic trays. Meanwhile, metal braces are noticeable because they consist of metal wires and brackets. Some children enjoy picking out different colored bands for their metal braces. However, some teens and adults opt for the discreet appearance of Invisalign.
For decades, traditional braces have been used to straighten smiles. Only your orthodontist can remove your braces, which means your braces are constantly straightening your teeth throughout your treatment. Traditional braces are more effective for patients with severely misaligned, overlapping, or rotated teeth because they provide constant gentle pressure to correct your bite.
One challenge with Invisalign is that the trays are removable, and patients may not adhere to the daily requirements for effective treatment. Furthermore, if you misplace or forget the trays, your teeth may shift or revert to their original positions. Many patients with Invisalign tend to wear the trays less than the required daily time, increasing the length of time necessary to complete their treatment.
When it comes to convenience, both Invisalign and braces have their pros and cons. Invisalign trays are more convenient when you want to eat sticky foods or your favorite hard snacks. You just have to take out your trays, store them securely and then enjoy your food before placing the trays back into your mouth. However, this can be challenging, especially in social settings, because it is not convenient to remove and then put your trays back in immediately after eating or drinking.
Braces are also convenient because you don’t have to take them out while eating since the dentist securely fits them. There are certain foods you cannot eat with braces because they may stick to or damage the wires and brackets. However, braces may be the ideal choice for children or adults prone to misplacing things.
Care and Cleaning
Whether using Invisalign or braces, cleaning your teeth twice daily must be a priority. With traditional braces, cleaning is simple because you can just brush and floss as normal. If food sticks in the metal, a smaller brush or a water pick is helpful to dislodge any stubborn food particles.
Brushing and flossing while using Invisalign trays is convenient because you simply remove your trays when cleaning your teeth. However, you also need to clean your trays after eating. Cleaning trays should be done using a special cleaning solution, warm water, and a soft toothbrush. Proper cleaning of the trays is essential to prevent the buildup of food or bacteria.
Price of Treatment
If the treatment cost is a major concern, traditional braces may be more affordable than Invisalign. The Invisalign costs vary based on the number of trays needed to complete the treatment.
Before making your final decision, take the time to consult your orthodontist regarding the price. Those with dental insurance may get full or partial coverage for the cost of Invisalign or braces.