Clear aligners, such as Invisalign and other well-known brands of invisible braces, are quickly becoming a favourite teeth straightening and alignment option for patients and dentists. Clear aligners have gained popularity over more traditional orthodontic treatments, like wired braces, due to their nearly undetectable appearance, lightweight, and comfortable, custom fit.
While both invisible and traditional braces effectively treat many mild to moderate alignment issues, here’s a breakdown of both options to help you better understand the benefits of clear aligners vs. braces.
How it Works: Clear Aligners vs. Braces
To choose the best teeth straightening technique for you, it helps to understand how each device works.
Clear aligners are an orthodontic treatment that utilises a series of custom-fitting trays that fit over the teeth to help move them into the desired position. They work by applying gentle pressure to the teeth to shift them into the correct location gradually.
Similarly, braces work by continually putting pressure on the teeth to move them into the desired location. Unlike clear aligners, they require metal or ceramic brackets with elastic bands on each tooth, connected by a wire and bonding material.
Additional parts can be added to the braces to apply greater pressure or be manually tightened and loosened by your dentist or orthodontist to achieve the desired result.
There are also braces called lingual braces, which are placed and fixed behind the teeth.
Teeth Straightening and Alignment Ability
Many are surprised to learn that clear aligners like Invisalign and other name brands can treat crooked teeth, crowding, spacing issues, and a misaligned jaw, also known as malocclusion. Though clear aligners are best suited for teens or adults and typically reserved for mild-to-moderate alignment issues, they have been shown to require less treatment time than wire braces when addressing a misaligned jaw. However, if a patient has a more severe over-or underbite, they may require treatment beyond what clear aligners can provide.
When you compare the pros of clear aligners vs. braces, the most obvious benefit of clear aligners is their nearly invisible appearance. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, clear aligners are a preferred teeth straightening choice due to their inconspicuous nature and ability to help patients maintain their self-confidence. Popular brands like Invisalign and ClearCorrect, which Sydney Dental Group is proud to offer, can provide an alignment solution with minimal visibility.
The brackets and wire in more traditional braces cannot be concealed. The term ‘brace face’ was coined to poke fun at those with braces and a face full of metal. While you can get clear bands to go around the brackets on your teeth with traditional braces, they are still far more obvious than invisible braces and therefore, not always the most desirable option.
Can Be Removed
A significant perk of invisible braces when looking at clear aligners vs. braces is that they can be removed. Unlike braces that are affixed to your teeth for the duration of your treatment, clear aligners are removable at almost any time. This perk makes it much easier to eat, drink, brush, and floss.
Also, if you have a special occasion, such as a wedding, school photos, headshots, or some other event in which you want or need to remove them, you can easily take them out for a short while. As long as you remember to put them back in promptly and commit to wearing them as directed, you’ll continue to benefit from your invisible straightening treatment.
Thanks to the ease of removing your aligners, it can also make it easier to clean them and maintain good oral health. With braces, patients must be diligent about keeping their braces free of food debris and plaque with consistent brushing and flossing, which can be a bit more cumbersome.
Braces are mainly uncomfortable when they are first placed on your teeth or after an orthodontist manually adjusts them, although the discomfort becomes manageable in the days following. However, they may make you more prone to mouth irritation or cuts due to the sharpness of the metal brackets. This is something you have to be especially careful of when playing sports or performing other physical activities.
Clear aligners’ smooth plastic surface offers more comfortable wear with less irritation. At Sydney Dental Group, we’re proud to offer Invisalign and ClearCorrect teeth straightening systems. To get your customised aligners, we have you come in for a dental exam to develop a virtual model of your orthodontic treatment with state-of-the-art digital scanners. Once we have your approval, we’ll send the data to an off-site lab to get your trays made.
No Diet Restrictions
One of the more challenging parts of getting traditional braces for some can be the diet restrictions that come with it. To avoid compromising or breaking a bracket, or popping out the braces’ wire, patients must avoid eating certain foods, including those that are hard, sticky, or otherwise tough to chew. Consuming sugary or acidic drinks can also negatively affect your teeth’s enamel.
Start on Your Path to Straighter Teeth Today
To find out if clear aligners like Invisalign are right for you, call Sydney Dental Group Baulkham Hills on (02) 9158 6135 or book an appointment. We’ll assess your dental condition and discuss the best teeth straightening treatment option for you.