Teeth straightening does much more than just give you a beautiful smile. Not only does it align your teeth and jaw but it makes teeth easier to clean and keeps many oral health issues at bay.
As we have discussed in previous blogs, both conventional braces and Invisalign are great teeth straightening options. Both have their advantages and are performed by many orthodontists. But which is more effective and affordable?
Here’s all you need to know about each treatment to choose the best option.
The Difference Between Traditional Braces and Invisalign
Let’s get down to basics. Braces and Invisalign were both designed to straighten teeth, although the latter is a relatively new treatment.
If you’re considering braces, you’re probably picturing the metal ones. From oral health improvements to reducing TMJ (temporomandibular) disorder, dental braces have many benefits. Thanks to modern technological advances, you can match the brackets to the colour of your enamel to keep them discreet. There are also ceramic and lingual braces which almost appear invisible to the naked eye and are great alternatives to conventional metal ones.
The problem with lingual braces is that they may not be suitable for children or people with small teeth. If you suffer from excessive bite problems, traditional braces will be more beneficial than the newer alternatives.
Invisalign, on the other hand, is designed to be, natch, invisible. It’s made with BPA-free plastic for a smooth and comfortable feeling when moving your teeth. Your dental specialist will use X-rays, digitally scanned images of your mouth and impressions to create a 3D image to make custom aligner trays that will fit you perfectly.
What makes this particular treatment so popular is that it’s invisible and removable. You can simply remove the aligners when eating, brushing, flossing or for special occasions. Also, since Invisalign is removable, there’s almost no restriction on what you can eat or drink. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about broken brackets or loose wires.
The choice may seem simple but it’s not. For self-conscious teens, Invisalign may appear to be the more appealing choice. But if you dread the idea of having to remove the trays each time you eat, it may not be the best option. You can’t forget to brush after each meal before putting the trays back in either if you want to avoid staining. It may surprise you, but many people still prefer traditional metal braces. We have to look at the benefits of each treatment to better compare them.
Benefits of Metal Braces
Before you make a decision, let’s look at the benefits. So, what makes metal braces such a good option?
- Treatment Time
Metal braces aren’t removable, so this treatment tends to show results faster than Invisalign. Depending on the patient’s needs, they can be worn throughout the day and typically take 18 months to three years. This timing depends largely on the complexity of the patient’s dental problems and their ability to stick to the treatment.
Keeping them clean only requires regular brushing and flossing.
- Need for Follow-Up Visits
A monthly visit to your dentist should be enough to make sure your teeth are shifting and being adjusted accordingly.
This is important to maintain all your hard work. For instance, you need to wear a positioner or retainer every night so that the teeth stay in the same position.
For people facing complex dental issues, conventional metal braces are the better choice.
Benefits of Invisalign
- Appearance and Convenience
The clear and next-to-invisible Invisalign trays make it a sought-after treatment for many people. It’s a great way to not only straighten teeth but not impact your appearance. The best part about this treatment is that it can be removed while you drink and eat, so you don’t have to worry about food getting stuck.
Compared to traditional metal braces, the Invisalign treatment is a lot more comfortable. Due to the absence of brackets, you don’t need to worry about a sore mouth.
- Treatment Time
Invisalign should be worn for almost 22-24 hours a day, but the treatment’s duration ranges from 6 to 18 months depending on the complexity of your issues.
You need to use a special Invisalign cleaning system, or you can use lukewarm water while brushing and rinsing. This process needs to be repeated day and night whenever you eat or drink anything besides water.
- Need for Follow Up Visits
The different trays used will most probably keep your teeth moving back and forth. For this reason, you need to keep changing trays every two weeks and pay a visit to your dentist every four to six weeks.
The Downsides of Both Treatments
Anyone involved in contact sports may want to avoid metal braces as the metal could potentially damage tissues.
Patients who suffer from bridgework, back tooth bite or issues where their canines or premolars need rotating should avoid this treatment.
Both are great options for fixing your teeth for that perfect smile. In the end, choosing metal braces or Invisalign comes down to your personal needs and how self-conscious you are. Consult a dental expert to help you determine your best possible solution.