You have a few options if you want to correct misaligned or crooked teeth for a straighter smile. Most people used traditional braces to straighten their teeth in the past. These braces use metal or ceramic brackets and wires to move your teeth into alignment.
Recent teeth straightening advancements have made less conspicuous options like Invisalign popular for achieving a perfect smile. Learn more about Invisalign vs braces to highlight why Invisalign may work better for your teeth than traditional braces to help restore confidence in your smile.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign is a set of clear plastic aligner trays designed from a three-dimensional scan or model of your mouth. Each aligner fits closely to your teeth and places pressure in the areas your orthodontist has chosen to move your teeth into the desired position. In some cases, a small attachment may be necessary to get a tooth to move into the desired position.
When comparing Invisalign vs braces, Invisalign has some clear advantages over traditional braces.
People may not notice you wearing your aligners because they are made of clear plastic and fit snugly against your teeth. There are no brackets or wires to attract attention. In one study, girls between 14 and 18 using Invisalign reported feeling attractive more often than the girls wearing traditional braces.
Invisalign provides a substantial benefit when it comes to comfort. Having a plastic tray that follows the contours of your teeth is much more comfortable than brackets and wires used in traditional braces.
The brackets and wires can irritate the soft tissue of the lips and cheeks and cause damage if you get bumped in the face, as sometimes happens when playing sports.
Maintaining your aligners is much less complicated than maintaining traditional braces. Remove it to eat, brush your teeth, rinse your aligner, and put it back in. Gently brush your aligner with a soft-bristled toothbrush once a day to keep it fresh, and use Invisalign cleaning crystals as directed.
In addition to brushing after each meal or snack, brush and floss twice a day, as usual. Invisalign aligners mean no tedious oral hygiene routine.
No dietary modifications
Invisalign does not require you to give up your favourite snacks. Hard or sticky foods can damage traditional braces. With Invisalign, you remove the aligner to eat, so no food is off-limits.
Treatment may be faster
If your issue is minor, Invisalign treatment may take as little as 6 months, while more complex cases may take 12 to 24 months. Traditional braces typically require 2 years.
No risk of staining weak enamel
People with weak enamel who wear traditional braces sometimes have stains around the brackets leading to unsightly colour differences in tooth enamel once the brackets are removed. While this can be fixed with veneers, it can be avoided with Invisalign.
In the Invisalign vs braces debate, Invisalign does have some drawbacks.
Not suitable for all orthodontic issues
While Invisalign can work on a single tooth, a few teeth, or a whole arch, there are some things it cannot do. Significant tooth rotation, large gaps, and the presence of some types of dental work.
Must be disciplined
Invisalign aligners must be worn 20 to 22 hours per day to move teeth effectively. This means remembering to put them back in immediately after eating and brushing. You must also not forget to take them out before eating or drinking anything other than water.
How Do Braces Work?
Traditional braces use a metal or ceramic bracket affixed to your teeth to straighten them. Your dentist threads a metal wire through these brackets, which they tighten every few months to slowly pull your teeth into alignment. Traditional braces usually straighten your teeth in about 24 months, but in some cases can take longer.
Braces vs Invisalign: Braces Benefits
Traditional braces offer a few advantages over Invisalign. These include suitability for most orthodontic issues and customisation options.
Suitable for all orthodontic issues
Wire braces are preferable to Invisalign for people with severe orthodontic issues. These braces work on most tooth shapes and can pull severely misaligned teeth into a desirable position.
Can be customised
For younger patients, wire braces offer the ability for customisation. Most dentists offer the option to choose colourful bands for a unique dental device.
Braces vs Invisalign: Braces Drawbacks
Despite several benefits, traditional braces have several downsides as a teeth straightening option, especially when compared to Invisalign.
Need more visits to the orthodontist
Traditional braces require you to visit the orthodontist for tightening every 4 to 10 weeks on average. That means you’ll need an appointment almost every month while wearing the braces.
Longer treatment times
Where Invisalign may help you achieve a straight smile in anywhere from 6 months to 18 months, traditional braces require around 1 to 3 years to obtain the same result.
A significant downside to traditional braces is the oral discomfort they cause. The metal brackets and wires can cut into the soft tissue inside your mouth. These cuts are painful and can make it hard to chew food.
Additionally, tightening wires often causes pressure on your teeth, leading to discomfort while chewing and causing headaches.
Difficult to clean
Flossing requires a threader to help get the floss over the wire for each tooth. You must brush your teeth five times a day, five minutes per brushing. In addition to your regular brushing technique, you must also brush carefully around each bracket.
Requires changes to your diet
Sticky, hard, crunchy foods may damage your braces. You may have to avoid your favourite meals and snacks until the braces come off.
Can leave tooth stains
Braces require an excellent, if tedious, oral hygiene routine. People with weak enamel may have stains where the brackets were at the end of treatment.
Invisalign vs Braces: Which is Better?
If you want a straighter smile but aren’t sure whether to opt for traditional braces or Invisalign, speak to your dentist at Sydney Dental Group. They can help you compare Invisalign vs braces pros and cons and perform an oral exam to determine which type of treatment will give you the best results and meet your smile goals.
Book your Invisalign consultation with Sydney Dental Group online or call us at (02) 9158 6135 to schedule your appointment.
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