If you’re planning on getting your teeth straightened, then at some point you’ll have to choose: braces or Invisalign? In this post, we’ll look at the differences between these two methods so that you can make an informed choice.
What are braces?
Braces are metal brackets that are glued to your teeth and wires that connect all the brackets together. The wires slowly pull your teeth in the right direction, eventually giving you a straighter smile.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a relatively new technology that uses clear plastic retainers instead of metal brackets and wires. You have to wear the plastic retainers day and night for several months. The retainers are designed to be comfortable though, and what’s more, they’re almost invisible thanks to their transparent design.
How does Invisalign compare to braces?
Now let’s look at the differences between Invisalign and braces to get a better idea of how they compare.
- Colour. Braces are usually a metallic grey colour, but you can sometimes pay extra to have them painted the same colour as your teeth. Invisalign, on the other hand, are transparent, which means most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them.
- Maintenance. If you choose braces, then you’ll need to brush them carefully at least twice a day to keep them clean. If you choose Invisalign, then you’ll need to clean your retainers regularly either by brushing them or by using a special Invisalign cleaning system.
- Follow up visits. With braces, you’ll need to see your orthodontist about once a month to have your braces readjusted. With Invisalign, you’ll see an orthodontist every four to ten weeks to see how you’re getting on and to get a new set of retainers.
What are the advantages of braces?
- No temptation to leave them out. Since braces are stuck to your teeth, you won’t have the temptation to leave them out.
- Effective for complex cases. Braces have higher success rate for complex cases.
- Easier to take care of. There are no extra cleaning steps involved with braces; just the usual flossing and brushing will do.
What are the disadvantages of braces?
- Look. Some people feel self-conscious about wearing braces, although you can get them in a colour that matches your teeth.
- Have to avoid certain foods. Sticky and hard foods, such as toffee, caramel and boiled sweets, should be avoided if you have braces.
- Possibility of discomfort. The wires and brackets of braces can sometimes be uncomfortable.
What are the advantages of Invisalign?
- Nearly invisible. Thanks to the clear plastic material that Invisalign is made from, people will find it hard to tell that you’re wearing retainers.
- No difficulty eating. With Invisalign, you can take the retainers out before eating, so you can eat normally.
- More comfortable than braces. Many people find Invisalign more comfortable than braces because there are no wires involved.
What are the disadvantages of Invisalign?
- Require more care. Invisalign retainers have to be cleaned several times a day to kill any bacteria.
- Cost. Typically, Invisalign works out as slightly more expensive than braces.
- Requires dedication. Invisalign requires dedication because you have to make sure that you wear them for at least 22 hours per day.
- Have to brush more often. With Invisalign, you have to brush your teeth after every snack or meal to avoid staining you teeth.
So which is better: Invisalign or braces? The answer to that question isn’t clear cut, and will depend on your own personal preference.
We hope that now you’re better informed about the differences between braces and Invisalign. Deciding which one to go for isn’t easy, but whichever you choose, we’re sure you’ll have a lovely straight smile by the end of it!