Invisalign is the current trend among people who need orthodontic treatments to straighten their teeth. Yet, some people prefer braces. The selection between the two is influenced by various factors. Continue reading to understand everything you need to know about Invisalign and braces.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign is one of the most famous brands of clear aligners. This orthodontic equipment is made out of a transparent thermoplastic called SmartTrack, engineered to make your teeth-straightening process more effective.
The name says it all, Invisalign is a clear, invisible treatment that is not noticeable from far, making it perfect for people who want to straighten their smile but are too conscious to grab attention with traditional braces. But how does Invisalign work to straighten your teeth?
Invisalign uses advanced technology to develop clear aligner trays customized to suit the shape and size of your jaw and teeth. They fit tightly on your teeth, applying the right pressure to straighten them into the desired position. As the shape of your teeth shifts, you will need to mold new trays to continue the orthodontic process smoothly. Ideally, doctor visits are required after every four to six weeks, depending on your progress.
People searching for orthodontic treatment must analyze whether an Invisalign fits their case perfectly. Determining the efficacy of both clear aligners and braces is equally important. Take a look at the pros of Invisalign and further explore how traditional braces work.
Advantages of Invisalign
It’s not a hidden fact that Invisalign is indeed one of the most comfortable orthodontic treatments available. Don’t worry about getting any cuts or sores in your mouth due to the painful wires and brackets poking out of the teeth. The only discomfort you will experience is when your teeth are repositioning.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is a more discreet solution. No one will be able to notice you have these aligners in your mouth unless they take a really close look. Hence, this is a wider preferred choice for teenagers and adults scared to show off their metal mouth.
- No Food Restrictions
With traditional braces comes a long list of all the foods you can and cannot have, but that’s not the case with an Invisalign. You can have everything with Invisalign as long as you remove them before eating and brush your teeth afterwards.
- Easy Dental Care
Maintaining oral hygiene is extremely important, especially when undergoing orthodontic treatment. Your teeth can get stained due to the brackets of your braces, and since one cannot remove braces during the treatment, cleaning that part is difficult. However, this is not a problem for individuals using Invisalign. You can simply remove your clear aligners and brush normally.
- Fewer Orthodontic Visits
You don’t need to visit your doctor as often as you will with braces. Generally, you can expect a visit every four to six weeks to check the progress and understand where the current position of your teeth stands.
Is Invisalign Right for You?
Even though Invisalign has the upper hand over braces when it comes to comfort and discreetness, you still need to keep certain factors in mind and need to understand whether you are at the right stage of getting these clear aligners or not. Here are some points to remember if you are thinking of getting this clear orthodontic equipment:
- You Don’t Have Too Many Dental Complications
Most of the cases related to crooked teeth can be fixed with Invisalign. These might include patients with an underbite, open bite, crowded teeth, teeth gap, crossbite, and overbite. But that does not mean everyone with the same condition can be treated with Invisalign. Your orthodontist will assess your problem first and recommend Invisalign based on the severity of your case. This is because these clear aligners cannot solve major complications like severe jaw misalignment. Some other dental challenges Invisalign cannot solve are:
- Severely rotated teeth
- More than 6mm gap between teeth
- Teeth that are angled at more than 45 degrees
Invisalign is perfect for fixing smaller problems like straightening minor crooked teeth or small gaps. While fixing moderately complex cases is a job for metal braces and sometimes dental surgeries.
- You’re a Responsible Person
One of the main reasons orthodontists recommend Invisalign for people who have reached a certain age is that individuals need to be highly mindful in taking care of their aligner trays and must be committed to taking proper care of them throughout the entire treatment. Moreover, Invisalign trays are removable. So, you also need to take care of the fact that you wear them for at least 22 hours every day to increase the effectiveness of your treatment.
- You Have all of Your Adult Teeth
It is difficult to predict how a kid’s adult teeth will turn out. Hence, most orthodontists prefer treating only adult teeth. And the same goes for Invisalign. You need to have all of your adult teeth to begin the treatment.
- You Have a Busy Life
Traditional braces require regular orthodontal follow-ups and cleaning to ensure your teeth and gums don’t catch infections or decay. While on the other hand, living your regular life is easier with Invisalign! It follows a simple and quick care routine, and cleanings are only required twice a year. Additionally, you only need to visit the orthodontist once every six weeks to keep track of your progress.
Apart from taking care of your aligner trays by soaking them in water and Invisalign Cleaning Crystals, there is nothing you need to follow explicitly. Also, you need to brush your teeth more often, after every meal, if possible. And the best part about an Invisalign treatment is that you can continue following your regular diet choices!
How Do Braces Work?
Getting braces is another way to straighten your teeth. They work by exerting pressure on your jaws and teeth and forcing them to change their position. This helps in changing your smile for good reasons!
Braces are known to target the more extreme version of dental problems that Invisalign cannot achieve. They consist of archwires that help the brackets stay on top of the teeth. Your teeth and the bone are surrounded by soft tissues that help keep your teeth in their position. These tissues can compress or stretch whenever your teeth move. And when braces exert constant pressure to straighten the position of your crooked teeth, the soft tissues will compress and allow new bones to form to fill the gap.
Advantages of Braces
- Corrects Complex Dental Problems
Braces are great orthodontic devices that work to correct both simple as well as complex dental problems. Since they are attached to each tooth, they are more effective in terms of results and take lesser time to correct your teeth.
- No Need to Remove Them
You are freed from the hassles of remembering to remove them before eating or drinking anything apart from water. You don’t have to worry about whether or not you have them on for 20 hours. Moreover, braces are heat and stain-resistant, so you can drink your favorite beverage without worrying about changing its shape or staining them.
- Various Options
Apart from the popular metal braces, you also get to select from various options, like ceramic ones that are less obvious than the traditional ones. If the idea of displaying the metal braces does not sound appealing to you, lingual braces are your choice. These braces are applied behind your teeth rather than in the front.
Are Braces Right for You?
Some major dental problems can only be fixed with the help of braces. Apart from that, there are certain things you need to keep in mind to understand whether or not braces are the correct orthodontic treatment for your dental problems.
- You Don’t Need to Constantly Worry About Them
Since braces are bonded to your teeth for the entire course of the treatment, they are constantly moving them. This increases their effectiveness. Moreover, you cannot remove them; hence, they can deliver better results in a shorter time than Invisalign. You don’t even need to track how many hours the braces have been in your mouth, so you can roam worry-free. So, the risk of sleeping without them is eliminated.
- You Have Severe Dental Problems
Severe crowding or impacted teeth cannot be treated with Invisalign. These dental troubles are only solved with the help of braces since the brackets can put extreme pressure with the help of braces wire and become more effective in moving your teeth.
What’s Best for Me?
Today, with the help of advanced technology, you have several options to choose to straighten your teeth, and braces and Invisalign are two popular and effective options. However, which one to choose entirely depends on your dental requirements.
At Thurman Orthodontics, you will get personalized suggestions based on our accurate assessment. So, if you are confused between braces and Invisalign, an appointment with us can help you make a better dental choice!
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.