Invisalign vs Braces: Which is Best For You?

When deciding which route to take when straightening your teeth, the fastest route might be the option you want, but that might not always be the best choice. Today, we’re discussing the difference in treatment time between Invisalign and traditional braces.

What Are Braces? 

Braces are stainless steel brackets that are bonded to your teeth and connected with dental wire that will be tightened or shortened at every visit with your orthodontist. 

Over time, the pressure guides the teeth into their ideal positions to reveal a more straight and aligned smile. 

While braces are the most commonly used method used to straighten teeth, the process can be a bit lengthy. Braces treatment typically takes anywhere between 12-16 months and may take even longer - though it is important to keep in mind that treatment time will vary from patient to patient. 

What Is Invisalign? 

Invisalign - like braces - is used to straighten and align the teeth. Unlike braces which make use of metal brackets and wires, Invisalign makes use of a set of clear retainers that are changed out every few weeks. Each set of aligner trays focuses on moving a different area of the teeth. 

Invisalign treatment tends to be a bit faster than braces. Most people pursuing orthodontic treatment with Invisalign are finished within a year, though treatment time may vary from case to case. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, which allows patients to remove them to brush, floss, or eat.

What Are The Biggest Differences Between Braces And Invisalign? 

While both Invisalign and braces serve the same purpose, there are a few significant differences between them that are important to consider when choosing your treatment method.

Braces straighten teeth, and they also help with patients who suffer from underbite, overbite, and other issues such as overlapping teeth. For cases that are a bit more advanced, it is typically recommended to pursue treatment with traditional metal braces rather than Invisalign.

Changes to diet and lifestyle are also important to consider when choosing your orthodontic treatment method. Patients who pursue treatment with metal braces are required to avoid hard or sticky foods to preserve the metal brackets and wires. They will also be given a list of foods to avoid that may become trapped and pose a risk to the health of the teeth.

Invisalign - because it can be easily removed - does not require any specific diet restrictions. In many cases, patients will simply be advised not to smoke or drink coffee or tea with their trays in, as they may face the risk of staining the trays.

Older individuals with dexterity trouble or younger children who may have trouble caring for and keeping track of their Invisalign trays may also benefit from traditional orthodontic treatment, as well. 

Invisalign can be wildly beneficial for individuals who are extremely concerned with the look of the teeth; this can apply to both teenagers or business professionals who want to maintain a professional and discreet appearance while they are undergoing treatment.

Which One Is Harder To Maintain? 

Oral hygiene is crucial for your general overall dental health, and it is of the utmost importance when you have braces or Invisalign. 

Traditional braces have brackets that are cemented to your teeth; brushing and flossing your teeth after meals - at a minimum of three times a day - prevents your teeth from staining or developing decay around the bracket. 

In some cases, some patients will have a white spot where the bracket was attached to their teeth when the braces are removed. Your dentist or orthodontist can help you to learn how to properly brush your braces to avoid staining and food getting caught in the wires.

While your diet may have to change to accommodate the brackets, you can still enjoy many of the things you always have as long as you practice proper oral hygiene. Staying away from foods that are hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy is important to ensure the brackets don’t break or come loose.

While wearing your Invisalign, it is important to be aware of what drinks you are choosing. Soft drinks, sports drinks, and juices can have sugars that get caught in the Invisalign trays, which will make your teeth stain or cause significant decay. Opting for water in place of these drinks can help to keep your teeth healthy while on your journey. Be sure to remove your trays before eating or drinking.

How Do I Decide What Is Best For Me? 

As you have learned here, your needs, wants, and personal health history have a direct effect on which treatment method will be best for you.

Consulting with your dentist is the first step in making a choice about what is best for you and your smile. Your dentist will be able to recommend an orthodontist who will review your individual needs. Once the orthodontist has reviewed your needs and wants, you will be able to come up with a treatment plan together that you are comfortable with.

FY Smile: Best Dentist in Sydney

Here at FY Smile, we are proud to offer both traditional metal braces and Invisalign in our Sydney dental office.

For more information about how dentistry affects overall health, or to make an appointment at our Double Bay dental office, give us a call anytime at 02 8319 5557.