You’ve made the decision that you are going to have that beautiful, confident smile that you or your child deserves. But with so many options in today’s world, which should you choose? Before 1998, the only choice for straightening teeth was braces - either metal, ceramic or lingual. But then along came Invisalign clear aligners and patients were rightly excited about bypassing the brackets and wires. The cold, hard truth is...BOTH of these options can effectively straighten teeth. The best way to tell which to choose is to have the best Colorado orthodontic specialist like the ones at All About Braces examine your teeth and recommend the option that will work best for your specific case. However, here we breakdown some of the major differences between Invisalign and braces.
Metal vs. Plastic
The appearance is the most obvious difference between Invisalign and braces. To help you better understand this difference, you should know how each of these orthodontic tools works. With braces, your Denver orthodontist will attach brackets to each tooth with bonding material. Then, a thin, metal wire called an archwire is added from bracket to bracket. The wire exerts a light force that causes the teeth to move. Alternatively, Invisalign treatment uses a series of computer-generated, clear removable aligners that are worn and gradually move teeth into place as each set is put in.
Invisalign aligners are more smooth and often considered more comfortable than their metal counterparts and virtually invisible, making it probable that people won’t even know you are wearing them.
However, as mentioned above, metal braces aren’t the only option. Most orthodontic offices also offer clear braces, which uses a ceramic material instead of metal to make them less noticeable. Ceramic or clear braces are not as strong as metal braces.
Moderate vs. Challenging
One of the primary deciding factors in determining the type of orthodontic treatment your doctor may recommend is the type of straightening your teeth need. Traditional braces produce better results if you have challenging orthodontic needs - for example, if you need to straighten significantly crooked teeth, or if you have teeth that are sitting at noticeably different heights. This is because it’s more difficult for the plastic shells to force the teeth into complex tooth movements. Invisalign, however, is ideal if you have mild to moderate crowding and alignment issues and if you have had previous orthodontic treatment but did not wear your retainer and have experienced some relapse.
Years vs. Months
The treatment time for Invisalign aligners is usually quite a bit less than traditional braces. With Invisalign, you wear your aligners 22 to 24 hours a day and can expect treatment to last for six to 18 months, depending on your needs. With braces, your braces never come off and you’re looking at more like an average of two years of treatment time, depending on your needs.
More $$$ vs. Less $$$
Compared to Invisalign, traditional braces tend to be more affordable costing around $1,800-$5,500 compared to Invisalign average cost of $5000. Your All About Braces staff will work with you to develop a financial plan to fit your budget, based on either option.
More Visits vs. Less Visits
With traditional braces, you will visit your Aurora, Denver, or Lakewood orthodontist every month for new wires and tightening. With Invisalign, you will change your aligner trays every two weeks and visit fewer times, usually every four to six weeks.
Food Restrictions vs. Eat What You Want
Wearing braces means being more cautious about what you eat and drink. At All About Braces, we recommend you stay away from sticky or hard foods that might damage or dislodge your brackets or wires and from excessive sweet food and drink that can give you cavities. Invisalign patients take their aligners out whenever they eat or drink, so do not have the food restrictions that braces-wearers have.
Brushing vs. Soaking
Wearing Invisalign clear aligners allows you to brush and floss your teeth normally for good periodontal health.However, each time you take them out, you should brush your teeth and rinse your aligners before replacing. Once a day, you should soak your aligners. Traditional braces are fixed in the mouth and therefore are more likely to trap food and are more difficult to keep clean. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day is highly recommended and the use of a water pik is also helpful for removing food particles.
Regardless of which orthodontic treatment you choose, the professionals at All About Braces are skilled at giving you a perfect smile using the option that is best for you. To schedule your first consultation, request an appointment online or contact us at one of our convenient Denver area locations. We are specialists in straightening teeth and creating beautiful smiles that last a lifetime. Begin your journey to a beautiful smile with All About Braces.